The Stray Birds by Rabindranath Tagore '16

  • Concept
    Changing Context/ Shifting Content
    I selected 30 short poems from The Stray Birds by Rabindranath Tagore,
    in which 10 are about Night/Sky/Stars/Light, another 10 are about Trees/Earth, and last 10 are about Ocean/Waves/Silence
    I put the poems together and re-ordered them as if each theme is one poem.
    I paint the panels relevant to each poem, but make them as if they are a piece of watercolor.
    SAIC 2016 BFA Show
    Instructor: Ann Tyler
    Duration: 3 weeks
    Dimension: 10" H x 30" to 90" W (a series of three)
  • 81
    What is this unseen flame of darkness whose sparks are the stars?
    The learned say that your lights will one day be no more, said the firefly to the stars.
    The stars made no answer.
    The night's silence, like a deep lamp, is burning with the light of its milky way.
    They throw their shadows before them who carry their lantern on their back.
    The stars are not afraid to appear like fireflies.
    The evening sky to me is like a window, and a lighted lamp, and a waiting behind it.
    Thou hast led me through my crowded travels of the day to my evening's loneliness.
    I wait for its meaning through the stillness of the night.
    Let me think that there is one among those stars that guides my life through the dark unknown.
    Thank the flame for its light, but do not forget the lamp holder
    standing in the shade with constancy of patience.
    Put out the lamp when thou wishest.
    I shall know thy darkness and shall love it.
  • 310
    The smell of the wet earth in the rain rises like a great chant of praise from the voiceless multitude of
    the insignificant.
    The trees come up to my window like the yearning voice of the dumb earth.
    The touch of the nameless days clings to my heart like mosses round the old tree.
    There little thoughts are the rustle of leaves; they have their whisper of joy in my mind.
    The trembling leaves of this tree touch my heart like the fingers of an infant child.
    The light that plays, like a naked child, among the green leaves happily knows not that man can lie.
    Sorrow is hushed into peace in my heart like the evening among the silent trees.
    Be still, my heart, these great trees are prayers.
    The trees, like the longings of the earth, stand a tiptoe to peep at the heaven.
    “We, the rustling leaves, have a voice that answers the storms, but who are you so silent?“
    “I am a mere flower.”
  • 242
    This life is the crossing of a sea, where we meet in the same narrow ship.
    In death we reach the shore and go to our different worlds.
    Our names are the light that glows on the sea waves at night and
    then dies without leaving its signature.
    Around the sunny island of Life swells day and night death’s limitless song of the sea.
    Thou raisest thy waves vainly to follow thy lover, O sea, thou lonely bride of the storm.
    Your voice, my friend, wanders in my heart, like the muffled sound
    of the sea among these listening pines.
    “What language is thine, O sea? ”
    “The language of eternal question.”
    “What language is thy answer, O sky?”
    “The language of eternal silence.”
    Dear friend, I feel the silence of your great thoughts of many a
    deepening eventide on this beach when I listen to these waves.
    My day is done, and I am like a boat drawn on the beach, listening to
    the dance-ˇmusic of the tide in the evening.
    My heart beats her waves at the shore of the world and writes upon
    it her signature in tears with the words, “I love thee.”
    I cannot keep your waves,
    Let me keep your footprints in my heart.