Monday, July 25, 2005

Two Poems From Bengal

This weekend, we read Roger Depue's book Between Good and Evil. Mr. Depue, founder & retired leader of FBI's famed Behavioral Science Unit, has seen much evil in his life and his book is a meditation on its very nature. [Thomas Harris, author of The Silence of the Lambs, was guided by Mr. Depue as he constructed Hannibal Lector.]

At the end of his book, Mr. Depue cites Tagore to celebrate the marvelous wonder that is ordinary human existence:

When I think of this end of my moments
The barrier of the moment breaks
And I see by the light of death
Your world with its careless treasures.

This weekend, a Sri Lankan friend wrote us the following Ramprasad poem:

Mother! My boat is sinking, here in the ocean of this world;
Fiercely the hurricane of delusion rages on every side!
Clumsy is my helmsman, the mind; stubborn my six oarsmen, the passions!
Into a pitiless wind
I sailed my boat, and now it is sinking.
Split is the rudder of devotion; tattered is the sail of faith;
Into my boat the waters are pouring! Tell me what shall I do?
For with my failing eyes, alas! nothing but darkness do I see.
Here in the waves I will swim,
Oh mother, and cling to the raft of Thy Name.

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