Introduction

In this poem, Rabindranath Tagore adopts the perspective of a child who lost his mother early in his life and thus cannot remember her. However, he feels his mother’s touch in the various mundane aspects of his life, and sees glimpses of her presence in daily things although she is absent.

About the Poet

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) is popularly known as Vishwa Kavi and Gurudev. He was the founder of Shantiniketan, an experimental school. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature for his ‘Gitanjali’, the Song of Offerings. Each of his poems reflects the Indian vision and his love towards his Mother Land. He is considered the Voice of Indian Heritage and Spiritualism.

Stanza 1

I cannot remember my mother,
only sometime in the midst of my play
a tune seems to hover over my playthings,
the tune of some song that she used
to hum while rocking my cradle.

The poet says that he cannot remember his mother. But sometimes while he is playing, a tune seems to hover over his toys. This is the tune of some song that the poet’s mother used to hum while rocking his cradle.

Stanza 2

I cannot remember my mother,
but when in the early autumn morning
the smell of the shiuli flowers floats in the air,
the scent of the morning service in the temple
comes to me as the scent of my mother.

The poet says he cannot remember his mother. But on early autumn mornings when the smell of shiuli flowers is in the air, the scent of morning service in the temple seems like the scent of his mother.

Stanza 3

I cannot remember my mother,
only when from my bedroom window I send my
eyes into the blue of the distant sky,
I feel that the stillness of my mother’s gaze
on my face has spread all over the sky.

The poet repeats that he cannot remember his mother. Only when he looks at the blue colour of the distant sky from his bedroom window, he feels that the stillness of his mother’s gaze on his face has spread all over the sky.