Wednesday, January 2 — “Drunk with the joy of singing”
On this dawn of Term 2, out my window Livernois and McNichols morning traffic reminds me that this is a work day, the first of 2019; administrators, staff, faculty, and students begin to suck it up and plan toward the time when campus becomes a big part of home and work from January to May.
What poem might speak to the courage & hope & anxiety that stirs a campus at the dawn of Term Two? These 3 days of an abbreviated week find people remembering rituals that marked the turning of the year: visiting friends and kin; eating and drinking more than ordinarily, storytelling and singing that waken deep places of memory, some sad, some awash with tenderness. Rabindranath Tagore’s poem (Gitanjali, # 2) can remind readers that the challenges of starting a fresh season of learning are not limited to anxiety and the sticker shock of reading all the term’s syllabi at once, 15 weeks of work, for every class, yikes! Tagore’s Poem # 2 exults. The wonder of a new beginning and of finding one’s voice once more.
Best to read the poem out loud, with pauses.
Have a blest first week.
john st sj
Today’s post: Rabindranath Tagore Gitanjali # 2
When Thou commandest me to sing
it seems that my heart would break with pride
and I look to Thy face
and tears come to my eyes.
All that is harsh and dissonant in my life
melts into one sweet harmony
and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird
on its flight across the sea.
I know Thou takest pleasure in my singing
I know that only as a singer I come before Thy presence
I touch by the edge of the far spreading wing of my song
Thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.
Drunk with the joy of singing
I forget myself
and call Thee friend
who art my lord.
Tagore Gitanjali # 2
mcnichols campus after snow, december 13, 2010