The Elder Sister by R.Tagore Translated by Ranu

‘The Elder Sister’

Her father is a labourer from the west.

He digs the earth on the banks of the river,

to arrange the bricks.

The little daughter is going back and forth to the wharf,

she is carrying a lot of dishes to wash,

she prances down the steps several times in the day,

her brass bangle rings ding dong when it touches the brass plate.

She is busy all day.

Her younger brother bald headed,covered with mud,and wearing no clothes,

walks behind her like a pet bird.

He sits on top of the wharf,stays quiet and patient.

The elder sister fills her pitcher and carries it on her head.

With a  plate in her left hand, there goes Bala

holding her younger brother with her right hand.

She is her mother’s representative.

Her back  bent down with the heavy load ,she is a  very young elder sister.

4 thoughts on “The Elder Sister by R.Tagore Translated by Ranu

  1. Dear Ranu,

    Thank you for this poem. I like it very much. I like the line:

    “Her younger brother bald headed,covered with mud,and wearing no clothes,

    walks behind her like a pet bird.”

    How poetically descriptive!

    All good wishes,

    robert

    • Yes Robert the poet is telling us about poverty.You noticed,he mentioned a very young elder sister.

      She looked after her brother.Thanks for liking it and for your comment.

  2. What a perfectly simple yet double-layered picture of poverty…such an accomplishment to do this so fluidly…this all too young representative of her mother…the boy baby so patient, like a trusting dependent “pet bird” …the “little mother” also so patient which needn’t be said as it’s so carefully described.

    How touching can any one poem get?

    All my friends who work & have been working with the very poor from/of various regions of the world surely will be enthralled by you beautiful translations…a reminder of Tagore’s gift again & again for so many generations & all over the world.

    How gently he speaks of peace & justice’ calling…how kindly…how effectively, if we would only listen, hear & respond each in our own way.

    If I miss any of these…it is not my choice & my intent is to get back here as oft as possible.

    These translated poems of your’s are among my top joys of this year — even while more fully discovered a little late…as I tend to be…:)

    Connie

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