Poetry Corner: Sant Tukaram


(From Wikipedia)

Sant Tukaram composed Abhanga poetry, a Marathi genre of literature which is metrical (traditionally the ovi meter), simple, direct, and it fuses folk stories with deeper spiritual themes.[20]

I could not lie anymore,
so I started to call my dog “God”.

First he looked confused,
then he started smiling, then he even danced.

I kept at it, now he doesn’t even bite,
I am wondering if this might work on people.

Tukaram’s work is known for informal verses of rapturous abandon in folksy style, composed in vernacular language, in contrast to his predecessors such as Dnyandeva or Namdev known for combining similar depth of thought with a grace of style.[22]

In one of his poems, Tukaram self-effacingly described himself as a “fool, confused, lost, liking solitude because I am wearied of the world, worshipping Vitthal (Vishnu) just like my ancestors were doing but I lack their faith and devotion, and there is nothing holy about me”.[23]

Alone At Your Feet

Consider me yours;
for I worship You, Lord.
In the company of saints,
my spirit soared.
Now I need nothing.
My thoughts are of You.
My faith is complete.
My devotion is true.
Distractions are many.
Friends say, ‘Grab this world.’
They love worthless things
and call them their pearls.
Now I can see
those people are clowns,
since death sets a trap
and they just fall down.
Here I sit
alone at your feet.
Give me your patience
to become complete.
To my old friends
I will not respond;
for You are the one
of whom I am fond.
If I deal with the world
for advantage or gain,
the saints will laugh;
They’ll know I’m insane.
But if I give You faith,
I’ll sit with the heroes
of ancient lore.