• Translation

Come As You Are by Rabindranath Tagore


Come as you are, forget appearances!

Is your hair untamable, your part uneven, your bodice unfastened? Never mind.

Come as you are, forget appearances!


Skip with quicksilver steps across the grass.

If your feet glisten with dew, if your anklets slip, if your beaded necklace slides off? Never mind.

Skip with quicksilver steps across the grass.


Do you see the clouds enveloping the sky?

Flocks of cranes erupt from the riverbank, fitful gusts ruffle the fields, anxious cattle tremble in their stalls.

Do you see the clouds enveloping the sky?


You loiter in vain over your toilet lamp; it flickers and dies in the wind.

Who will care that your eyelids have not been painted with lamp-black, when your pupils are darker than thunderstorms?

You loiter in vain over your toilet lamp; it flickers and dies in the wind.


Come as you are, forget appearances!

If the wreath lies unwoven, who cares? If the bracelet is unfastened, let it fall. The sky grows dark; it is late.

Come as you are, forget appearances!


loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

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