Vaster and stranger

We live in a limited world
Enclosed by what is familiar.
An unseen world is close by,
Vaster and stranger.
Messages between the two
Speak in a shadowy metre.
The wail of the distant flute,
The scent of a nameless flower.

Rabindranath Tagore
Particles, Jottings, Sparks: 100, p133
The Collected Brief Poems

“The wail of the distant flute” is carried on the wildness of the gales buffeting our house tonight. Rainwaters lying everywhere. The little river full. A roar in the stove chimney. “An unseen world is close by.”

Did Rabrindranath Tagore intend that his Brief Poems should ever be “collected”? I cannot know that. But I am thankful for them, as for all the other poets who remind me daily that I’m in company with others contemplating life beyond all that is “Enclosed by what is familiar”. Not alone in having strong sense of “an unseen world … close by”.

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