Time is endless in thy hands, my lord.
There is none to count thy minutes.
Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers.
Thou knowest how to wait.
Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower.
We have no time to lose,
and having no time we must scramble for a chance.
We are too poor to be late.
And thus it is that time goes by
while I give it to every querulous man who claims it,
and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last.
At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate be shut;
but I find that yet there is time.

–Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore is one of the greatest poets and writers in modern Indian literature. In this poem he speaks about the nature of time. We mortal beings believe that time has certain limitations and we usually feel the need to accomplish a lot before our life comes to an end as we believe that there is time only till we meet our death. The poet presents the idea that time is endless and is in the hands of the almighty, who is the creator. He further adds that for God there is no limit to time as he has seen centuries pass by and will continue to do so for centuries to come. Time is infinite for the almighty. We mortals seem to be in a hurry to do as much as possible, fearing that we might be late to do certain things and may lose out on certain opportunities. In doing so, we tend to get impatient when we feel like time is running out of our hands and yet there is a lot to achieve. The poet wants to convey that time is divine, yet one must not cling to it. We must value time as it is a precious thing but must also learn to live for the moment.

The poet says that time is in the hands of the almighty and is infinite in nature. One cannot count his minutes as time has no beginning and no end. Days and night pass by and so do ages, just like flowers keep blooming and withering. God has watched all this patiently over centuries and centuries which seem to follow one after the other. Time does not stop at any point. We mortal beings feel the need to rush through things as we feel we have no time to waste and have to accomplish a lot in this one lifetime. We do not want to miss out on opportunities and in our rush we often forget to value each moment. Men tend to get impatient with time as they feel it keeps passing by and there is a lot one has to do before their life comes to an end. It is only at the time of death that one realises that time is divine in nature and his existence may come to end but time will continue to go on for ages.

The basic idea being conveyed through this poem is that of the infinite nature of time. The poet says time is endless and is in the hands of the creator God. Time has no beginning and no end and hence cannot be stopped. It goes on for ages and ages even after one perishes. One’s life comes to an end and it is then that one realises that time will continue to exist and he may not know what happens after his death but one door always opens after another closes.

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  • May 7, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    A beautiful analysis of Tagore ji’s poem! I’m glad that I read this poem along with this description by you 😊

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