Event: 2014 West Coast Tagore Festival

You’re invited to the

West Coast Tagore Festival

September 5th and 6th 2014

Richmond, British Columbia

tagore 2014
September 5th and 6th

 

Carla Shafer, friend and host to Bellingham’s Chuckanut Sandstone Writers Theater, and I have been invited to read poems at this event.

Last year I was moved by the presentation of Rabindranath Tagore’s life, (b. 7 May 1861 – d. 7 August 1941).   The festival is a colorful gathering of true Tagore followers.  A real treasure for the NW.

“…sobriquet Gurudev,δ[›]was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”,[3] he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.[4] In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal.”


THE GIFT
A poem by Rabindranath Tagore

I want to give you something, my child, for we are drifting in the
stream of the world.
Our lives will be carried apart, and our love forgotten.
But I am not so foolish as to hope that I could buy your heart
with my gifts.
Young is your life, your path long, and you drink the love we
bring you at one draught and turn and run away from us.
You have your play and your playmates. What harm is there if
you have no time or thought for us!
We, indeed, have leisure enough in old age to count the days
that are past, to cherish in our hearts what our hands have lost
for ever.
The river runs swift with a song, breaking through all
barriers. But the mountain stays and remembers, and follows her
with his love.

 

***

*source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabindranath_Tagore

Bong Ja Ahn’s Paper Boat

This Labor Day Weekend I was up in Vancouver, Canada for a book launch “Poet and the Paper Boat” by Korean poet Bong Ja Ahn.  The book is the second in her English-Korean Poetry Anthology.  This was a beautiful event held at a community center, upstairs in a corner room.  Large windows and balcony doors were open wide and the last winds of August danced gently around the room.  My poet friends, Carla and Betty, and I were there along with 30-40 others to support Bong Ja.  The guest of honor wore a traditional Korean gown, and the table of refreshments were a unique sampling of delicacies from her homeland.

While there, a friend invited me to read a poem at the yearly Tagore Festival in Richmond.  What a wonderful opportunity!  The afternoon was full of inspiration, rich conversation, and an exchange of artistic expression that filled up my soul!  So wonderful to be a poet in the company of poets.

Here is Bong Ja’s signature poem from her new book:

Paper Boat

Yesterday
I folded and unfolded
a white paper boat.

Who is the noble born high up there
passing through the perfumed April air
Why the robins are busy signing at the early hour
And silvery sunrays ripple everywhere.

It’s you
It’s me
One followed by the other
Arrived on this side of mortal shore,

Where the yearnings flutter as high as they are deep,
Where Karma is yet to be unwound from tangled spool,
Where Breath of life is like jade, precious and
tearful.

Today again
My white paper boat
I fold, unfold and fold again.

Learn more about Bong Ja here:  http://worldpoetry.ca/?tag=bong-ja-ahn