.More Tagore. Another that C has recently read me is Railway Station.
I come to the station morning and evening,
I love to watch the coming and going -
Hubbub of passengers pressing for tickets,
Down-trains boarded, up-trains boarded,
Ebb and flow like an estuarine river.
Some people sitting there ever since morning,
Other people missing their train by a minute.Day - Night - clanking and rumbling,The essence of all these moving pictures
Trainloads of people thundering forth.
Changing direction at every moment,
Eastwards, westwards, rapid as storms.
Brings to my mind the image of language,
Forever forming, forever unforming,
Continuous coming, continuous going.
Crowds can fill the stage in an instant -
The guard's flag waves the train's departure
And suddenly everyone disappears somewhere.
The hurry disguises their joys and sorrows,
Masks the pressure of gains and lossesBho - Bho- blows the whistle,Succeeding, failing, boarding or remaining,
Ruled by the clock's division of time.
No one can bear to wait for a second,
some get aboard, some stay behind.
- Nothing but picture after picture.
Whatever catches the eye for a moment
- Is erased the next moment after.
A whimsical game, a self-forgetting
- Ever-dissolving sequence -
Each canvas ripped, its shreds discarded
- To pile up along the roadside,
Detritus lifted hither and thither
- By tired hot summer breezes.
'Hold back, hold back,' rings out the clamour
- Of passengers left stranded -
Next thing they have also vanished,
- Chasing, running, wailing.Clang - Clang - sounds the tocsin,The world is merely the work of a painter,
Time for good-bye, off goes the train.
Passengers leaning out of the windows,
Waving until they are whisked away.
This is the truth I have accepted -
Not made by a craftsman, beaten and moulded,
Not a thing the hand can grip hold of,
But an insubstantial visual sequence.
Age follows age, never losing momentum,
A stream of forming and passing pictures.
Alone in the midst of the to-ing and fro-ing
I watch the constant flux of the station.One - brush - the picture is painted,
Another brush blacks it out again.
Who are those coming from one direction?
Who are those floating the other way?
Tagore's Railway Station brings to mind John Brack's Departure and Arrival, and so many other Brack pictures of our coming and going.
Departure and Arrival
A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...