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Books > Language and Literature > Collected Poem of Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments and Corrections (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Collected Poem of Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments and Corrections (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Collected Poem of Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments and Corrections (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Description
Back of the Book

When Nirodbaran, a medical man by profession, came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, he was surprised to see that some disciples had taken up poetry as a means of sadhana. He too began composing poems in Bengali and developed his talents, sustained by Sri Aurobindo's grace of inspiration and instruction.

Although a stranger to the "realms of gold" of English poetry, he dallied with the foreign Muse and sent his poems to Sri Aurobindo, who in spite of having his hands over-full with eight to nine hours of correspondence to attend to, besides other work, took up these "juvenile spurts of fancy" and reshaped them into worthier stuff.

Thus began "a marvellous journey, the Guru at the helm and the disciple pulling the oars at his behest".

This book is a record of that journey.

K. D. Sethna, a fellow sadhak-poet writes: "The work of patient emphatic correction carried out by Sri Aurobindo is a lesson to all aspirants towards what he called 'the Future Poetry' - and it is a lesson taught repeatedly with a lavish yet most apposite humour."

From the Jacket

In the early 1930s Nirodbaran joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, after returning from England as a qualified medical doctor. He came to the Ashram with the intention of practising Yoga, and here he found to his surprise that poetry was one of the vocations taken up by some disciples as a means of sadhana. Sri Aurobindo was giving inspiration to them and taking an active interest in their writings. Nirodbaran, too, indulged in his "eccentric innovations" without knowing anything about English metrical forms. Beginning in a mystic- surrealistic vein, the poems progressed towards "Overhead Poetry" for it was Sri Aurobindo who guided the poet to perfection in his work, till one day in 1935 Sri Aurobindo remarked, "The poet seems to have come out after all. So the pains of labour, and even the forceps, were useful. It is the turn of the Yogi to come out next -what. Even with a forcep.

Then again in 1936, He remarked, "Very fine indeed, very. You have suddenly reached a remarkable maturity of the poetic power, which seems to suggest that the periods of sterility were not so sterile after all or were rather an incubation period, a work of opening going on in the inner being behind the veil before it manifested in the outer. Let us hope the same is going on in the direct sadhana."

Introduction

We are very happy to bring out Collected Poems of Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments and Corrections in two volumes.

Nirodbaran wrote about 423 poems in English, out of which 189 poems were published in three books:

1. Sun-Blossoms, published by Sri Aurobindo Circle, Bombay (1947) with 99 poems. The printed text incorporated Sri Aurobindo's corrections, but these were not indicated.

2. Fifty Poems of Nirodbaran with Corrections and Comments by Sri Aurobindo, published by Geeta Bannerjee, A.R. 188, Salt Lake City, Sector 1, Calcutta 700064 (1983). In this book Sri Aurobindo's corrections and comments, as well as Nirodbaran's correspondence with Sri Aurobindo regarding the poems, were also included.

3. Poems by Amal Kiran and Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments, where forty poems of Nirodbaran were published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram (1987).

The rest of the poems in this edition are being published for the first time.

From January 1936 to 22 November 1938, Nirodbaran wrote a poem a day, sometimes even two. It was quite an up-hill task for him, and usually he underestimated his poems and his capacity as a poet. The Guru, with great patience and compassion, goaded him, putting before him the examples of Horace, Virgil, Mallarme, Shakespeare, etc. - though in a humorous vein. Often Nirodbaran wanted to give up the endeavour, but the Guru 'cajoled' him to continue.

The reader will see for himself the innumerable corrections, even to the minutes detail, that Sri Aurobindo made in each poem - it is indeed 'a God's labour'! This went on till 22 November 1938, after which there was a lull due to Sri Aurobindo's accident on 23 November 1938. Nirodbaran entered the sanctum sanctorum in the capacity of a doctor to serve the Guru.

In 1940 Nirodbaran again took up writing poetry. Sri Aurobindo made very few corrections in the poems of this period.

In this edition, along with the text of the poems as they were first written, we have included all of Sri Aurobindo's corrections and comments. In the margins and in the body of the poem, Sri Aurobindo's comments are in italics and Nirodbaran's are in roman. Elsewhere, Sri Aurobindo's separate comments are in roman while Nirodbaran's questions are in italics.

From Kishor Gandhi's Foreword to Sun-Blossoms

Sri Aurobindo is no lonely creator working for personal aims and his creative work is not confined merely to poetry. Not only are alive in him the magnificence and the greatness of all the past cultural ages, not only has he a firm grasp over all the essential achievements of the present age, but also by him is carried forward all this splendid greatness of the past and the present towards a still more golden future.

More than any other person, he is the torch-bearer of our age, the opener of doors to unknown far-flung splendours, the bringer of the dawn of Divine Life.

In the field of poetry too Sri Aurobindo is the Master, but his work is not confined to his own great poetic achievement; he has also created poetry of singular beauty and excellence through some others who have allowed his master-hand to mould their poetic faculties to extraordinary greatness. In the radiant ethereal heavens of the Poetic Muse Sri Aurobindo is the Sun round whom revolve his satellites, nourished and sustained by the light they receive from him.

Nirodbaran, a selection of whose poems is presented in this volume, is evidently one of the satellites of the Aurobindonian Sun. Qualified of medical profession, he could be least expected to make his way into so disparate a field as poetry and it is doubtful if he would have turned out any valuable poetry had he not come under Sri Aurobindo's potent influence.

The aim of Sri Aurobindo's endeavour being fundamentally none other than the realisation of the Spirit, his influence on those who choose to follow him works primarily to no other end than their spiritual development. But since Sri Aurobindo's acceptance of the central spiritual aim does not imply a complete and unqualified rejection of life and its values, but rather involves their deliverance from their basic insufficiency and a fulfilment of their secret urge by a thoroughgoing and drastic spiritual transmutation of all their powers, no significant endeavour in any field of life is left out of his total and comprehensive aim. The pursuit of the aesthetic value (of which poetry forms a very powerful channel) - the seeking for the beautiful and the delightful in man and nature and God and in all things - has always been one of these high endeavours of the race and in Sri Aurobindo's integral aim it occupies an important place in so far as it helps us to draw near, contact directly and realise intimately the infinite Bliss and Beauty of the Spirit in its essential self-existence as also in its endless manifestation everywhere and, having realised them, to seek for their expression through the inspired rhythmic word and the revelatory vision.

The intense imprint of this inspired intuitive word and vision is evident everywhere in the poems included in this volume, everywhere the lines seem highly vibrating to the subtle felicitous music of some distant and lofty planes of the Spirit; everywhere is felt the enchanting impact on our listening of the voice of the spiritual muse singing sometimes in delicate exquisite strains, sometimes in pro- found massive tones, sometimes in wide-winged, high-soaring rhythms. Nowhere the authentic intuitive inspired utterance gets stifled or marred by the falsifying intrusion of the external speech, nowhere the intrinsic light of the inner vision gets clouded or blurred in the revealing expression; nowhere the deeper subtle profundities and potencies get cribbed or maimed in transmission. The height and intensity of the poet's inspiration no doubt varies, but even at his lowest pitch he never forsakes the intuitive felicity of the genuinely inspired word and vision; never does he lapse into the mere intellectualised or the external mode of speech or seeing.

Even at a very moderate estimate, Nirodbaran's poetry must rank very high indeed; truly evaluated, it must be acclaimed as a definitive milestone on the slowly unfolding path of the evolution of the future poetry.

 

Part-I

Contents

 

  Genesis of Nirodbaran as a poet 1
1 A radiant hush 36
2 Lie thou, my soul 37
3 Like a flame of flowers 39
4 Trickle, trickle 40
5 The sea revels 41
6 The Only Craving 46
7 A wide, inexpressible Peace 49
8 Benighted traveller sore 52
9 Mother, I hear thy intimate silent voice 56
10 Immensely calm and most ineffably sweet 78
11 Long is the way 83
12 The atmosphere is filled 95
13 On this dark corner 117
14 Between two worlds 119
15 Seeker 127
16 The vast green darkness rolls 130
17 Poor clouded soul 131
18 Promise 135
19 The Mother-Queen 138
20 Like a star in the sky 146
21 A feeble lump of clay 149
22 Higher and higher the flame mounts 193
23 Night has her petals 195
24 This Star 210
25 Life is a veil that covers 216
26 Burn no more candles 219
27 In vastitude of the unhorizoned soul 226
28 Past heavenly bodies 230
29 From the far receding line 233
30 A single note, a single song 236
31 Life's joys and sorrows 246
32 Not in those dust-born 249
33 A voiceless mystery 256
34 O purple glory of Light 260
35 The rose of silence 262
36 I hover twixt two skies 265
37 I roam - a lonely figure 271
38 Veiled Divinity 275
39 Under the white felicitous eye 279
40 A giant figure 282
41 Bright mystery of earth 286
42 In the mute wideness 290
43 Crowned with deep sorrows 296
44 Come with the softness 301
45 Like a faint murmur 303
46 Like a pellucid weft 306
47 Brief Soul-Reflections 310
48 Sitting alone 312
49 In the bright cadence 315
50 In the dim horizon 318
51 Cast on the shore of life 321
52 A faint breath of desire 324
53 The Zephyr like a murmured hymn 327
54 O to be free 331
55 Three fingers of white light 336
56 Bird of Ecstasy 339
57 Wandering on the wild seas 343
58 Ocean-Release 346
59 Speak slowly 349
60 The Mother's Touch and Look 353
61 In a bright singleness 358
62 This night of pale-white peace 361
63 Pang of Waking 366
64 The rustling leaves 370
65 The sylvan melodies 374
66 To a great marble house 376
67 Among life's shadows 380
68 Cry from the Dark 386
69 Immaculate Moments 391
70 Flame-petals of the Infinite Flower 395
71 From a white colossal rock 398
72 Bright sky of vision 400
73 Lost in the silver presence 403
74 O far-seeing Eye 406
75 Sometimes beyond the senses call 409
76 Still Far Away 412
77 Out of a distant deep 415
78 The flame of an eternal life 420
79 Revelation 423
80 On the silver halo 427
81 Two eyes draw near to me 430
82 A moonbeam path trails 433
83 Across the darkness 436
84 I stand on the dark edge 439
85 A golden fire glows 442
86 In moonlit silence of the deep 445
87 Lost Way 448
88 My lonely boat voyages 451
89 Slow Unveiling 453
90 In coils benumbed 456
91 O golden mystery of life 457
92 Ascent 462
93 In the voiceless temple 465
94 O mystic Bird of the Infinite 468
95 On waters of a tranquil sea 472
96 Prophetic Coming 475
97 Leaning from an unbridgeable height 477
98 The radiance of a mystic moon 479
99 Like a flaming sun 482
100 I am surrendered to thy Will 486
101 The moon down-looking from the blue 489
102 Let every moment of my life 494
103 My soul is filling with thy Light 498
104 Luminous Eternities 502
105 O vision of delight 506
106 Out of your face there look at me 509
107 Across the azure of my soul 512
108 Beneath white radiance 515
109 The luminous vision 518
110 Thy smile is a diamond flower 521
111 Manifest Thy Godhead 526
112 Slowly my cup is filled 530
113 At the altar of thy feet 535
114 Bring down from heaven 538
115 A wandering silence 541
116 Dedication 545
117 An emptiness has fallen 549
118 My life is a white dream 552
119 In the still hour 554
120 I tread one path 555
121 The wandering waters of my life 557
122 Bright silence 559
123 There is no other way but one 561
124 Let thy silver silence pour 563
125 A lambent cloud 566
126 A flight of pinions 568
127 What do you seek 570
128 One light dims 573
129 A new star 576
130 Infinite are the resources 578
131 The Light has ceased 581
132 The dusk has fallen 584
133 My thoughts are fruited 587
134 I shut my eyes 590
135 O Love, mysterious flower of God 593
136 Behind amount of memory 596
137 O bright inspirer 598
138 Garden of Vision 601
139 Thou shin'st above me 604
140 Along the track 606
141 Bright meteor 609
142 O starry fires 611
143 Like the heart 613
144 Someone leads me 615
145 Myriad worlds of thought 618
146 O radiant minstrel 622
147 In the diamond-hearted vigil 624
148 Wrapt in beauty 628
149 In the sun-red heart 631
150 In a silver-hearted memory 635
151 Under shadow of a giant tree 637
Part-II

Contents

 

152 The flute of dawn 639
153 Haloed Face 642
154 O flickering stars 644
155 My life is veiled 647
156 From a moon-browed silence 650
157 My body is now a flame 652
158 I shall yet rise 654
159 I am thy loneliness 657
160 I walk the flaming path alone 659
161 In my heart stirs a voice 661
162 Encircled by a light 663
163 An infinite silence 666
164 It is the light within 668
165 In radiance white she came 670
166 I am a mystery 672
167 Along the dim edge of the moon 675
168 My life is a sleep 678
169 Each time I take thy Name 680
170 Like a bright voice I come 682
171 In the dim-white presence 684
172 My life is a Light of the One 687
173 My heart has ceased to roam 690
174 My voices mingle with thy voice 693
175 Make me thy shadow less fire 696
176 Deep in my heart 698
177 In cold inert matter 701
178 The sky is now my song 703
179 A giant bird of Light 705
180 Through a hanging haze of night 708
181 Walled in caves 711
182 Myriad Fires 714
183 Like a lonely traveller 717
184 To a timeless mystery's shore 720
185 Timeless flame-wings are spread 722
186 I have grown calm 725
187 Thy sky is a blue fire 727
188 When holding my hand in thine 729
189 The gold track 732
190 No more I ask from thee 735
191 Seeking thy Light I came 738
192 A spark leaps in thy eyes 740
193 Slowly grows like a moon 742
194 Beyond the shimmering edge 744
195 Life is a venturous journey 747
196 My life is a flame 750
197 The timeless spirit sleeps 752
198 I live in the rapture-glow 754
199 The hush of the flame 757
200 My soul is like a star 759
201 My life is slowly changed 761
202 Amber clouds pass 763
203 Like a wandering bird 765
204 O Power invisible 766
205 Within the dark centres 768
206 My soul is borne by the tide 771
207 This radiant hush 776
208 My hours are 778
209 Two strange inscrutable eyes 780
210 My words come line by line 783
211 The dull long years 785
212 Lonely Tramp 787
213 Thy eyes alone can see 789
214 My though like a fiery steed 791
215 I pass through a flaming breath 794
216 A boundless feeling grows 796
217 By a subtle voice I am called 798
218 At moments I become 801
219 When thou art my endless source 804
220 The echoes of a hidden voice 807
221 I hold an empire in sway 811
222 I am the first-born rose of Light 813
223 I entered a hall in dream 815
224 Amidst a glowing fall of light 818
225 My moments pass thinking of you 820
226 In the bright hours 823
227 Beyond this passing phase 830
228 I live in a world of bliss 832
229 I am a sacrifice of heaven 834
230 The still centuries held for me 837
231 The light, the shadow 839
232 In an ageless solitude 841
233 O Name and Figure of infinity 844
234 I sail my boat alone 847
235 Like a celestial bird I fly 850
236 At earth's far end 853
237 He vanished in the slumbrous night 856
238 O sleepless Light 858
239 To my inner eyes 862
240 I guard a secret 864
241 Into a mystic fire 867
242 In the growing silence 869
243 Creation is an immature fruit of time 872
244 On a rude earth-tree 874
245 Each thing bears 877
246 Time is my spirit's golden vision 880
247 In the dreamward silence 883
248 My destiny is linked 888
249 I cannot lie a heap of clay 890
250 The last streak of the sun 892
251 I call you out of my dark clay 895
252 Cast from your sight the veil 898
253 Exiled on earth I lived 901
254 When the life fails to soar 904
255 I weave my lonely dream 906
256 A glowing heart of day 909
257 Bird of a secret light 914
258 Like a white wandering sail 917
259 O silence of the infinite Soul 921
260 A fire leaps from range to range 923
261 I dive into the fathomless 926
262 I rise from rove of desire 930
263 My soul is lifted 934
264 Bring into my waiting heart 938
265 A flame of God 941
266 My heart is a new-born flame 945
267 My breath of life 948
268 Creation like a fair 952
269 Thy rapturous presence 956
270 I have waited for thee 959
271 My solitude is crowned 963
272 I am a vision of God 968
273 Eternities are crowded 971
274 The clouds have vanished 974
275 A Power lifts me 978
276 No other sound is in my ear 981
277 Each day brings 984
278 My body is a light 988
279 In thy omnipotent Will 992
280 Within thy halo I live 995
281 Thou art my source of light 999
282 Wherever her eyes fall 1002
283 An infinite Beauty flows 1004
284 A new Light breaks 1006
285 Behind the splendour 1008
286 My thoughts are broken 1010
287 I bear a subtle voice 1013
288 In vain you call 1016
289 To yield one's will 1019
290 What beauty flowers 1021
291 Life has revealed 1023
292 Through our dark portals 1026
293 15th August 1029
294 The brief inexpressible touches 1032
295 Thy word has reached 1034
296 A diamond light 1036
297 Thou art the primal source 1038
298 A fire rises 1040
299 In the silent spaces 1043
300 Thy spirit's eternal beauty 1045
301 O Dream of solitude 1047
302 Within the flaming circles 1050
303 I gather fruits of thought 1053
304 My life is a white mystery 1056
305 The breath of life 1059
306 What world of power you hold 1065
307 Thy cadence beats 1067
308 Deep in my heart 1070
309 O Image of Godhood 1072
310 A Voice from the invisible Deep 1076
311 A moon-white bird of thought 1079
312 In foam-white seas of thought 1081
313 The silent spheres of thought 1083
314 Lost in a deep world 1086
315 From deep to deep I travel 1089
316 In the inviolate silence of my thought 1092
317 The snow-white spaces of my mind 1094
318 I live in the shadow of infinity 1097
319 I live upon the brink 1099
320 From a gold infinity Thou hast come 1101
321 I am no more a spark 1104
322 Into a flame of vision 1106
323 A strange universe 1109
324 A New Splendour Breaks 1111
325 Upon mortality's shore 1113
326 I have become a fiery intimate voice 1115
327 I gather from some fathomless depth 1118
328 Thy Presence fills 1121
329 Immortal Bride 1123
330 Upon the silent shore 1125
331 O bright Spirit of earth 1128
332 Upon the solitary shores 1131
333 A Mysterious Tune 1134
334 Gold Sun-Rose 1136
335 My heart is voyaging 1139
336 I walk along time's weary desert shore 1142
337 A silver flame 1144
338 In an inviolable hush 1146
339 Within the limitless reverie 1149
340 The many-faceted memory 1152
341 In a flame-ecstasy 1154
342 My lonely hours grow 1156
343 Pilgrim-Life 1158
344 Strange mysteries in the poised heart 1160
345 A touch of thy hand 1162
346 Upon a rock of trance 1164
347 I bear upon a mirror 1167
348 Looking into the secrecy 1170
349 O Light Inviolable 1172
350 I pluck the flowers 1175
351 Communion 1175
352 A grey line of old memory 1179
353 Along the sapphire margin 1181
354 Unknown Awakenings 1183
355 No more assailed 1186
356 Home of All Felicity 1188
357 I strain my mortal ears 1190
358 Towards the worship 1193
359 My silent gaze 1194
360 Under the banner 1196
361 Life now is part of immortality 1199
362 I have begun to live 1201
363 Quest Fulfilled 1204
364 With outstretched arms 1207
365 All distance vanishes 1210
366 I have brought to thee 1213
367 In a silver tide 1216
368 From the tranced moments 1218
369 Thy Presence wraps me 1222
370 I have cast from me 1226
371 I feel encircled 1228
372 Deep in the diamond centre 1231
373 I have glimpsed a magic beauty 1233
374 I hear thy footfalls 1235
375 The pure magnetic beauty 1238
376 Thou callest me 1240
377 Standing upon a peak 1242
378 My body's cup 1244
379 My mind is a changing fire 1246
380 0 Beauty, my body veils thy mystery 1249
381 Out of a burning row of candle-stars 1251
382 In a strange thrill of fire 1254
383 I seek thee 1256
384 I paused a while 1258
385 I stood rooted like a tree 1260
386 Thou art the craving of my soul 1262
387 Birthday 17th November 1940 1264
388 Amid night's flickering mirth 1267
389 I am thy mystic singer 1269
390 The Mother 1271
391 Liberation 1273
392 My life a single time-poised banyan tree 1275
393 Sparks of thy immortal Grace 1278
394 Tree of Vision 1281
395 My heart was athirst for a beauty 1283
396 Bright vision of the Infinite 1285
397 0 secret sun 1287
398 Beyond Dawn's precipice 1289
399 A single smile from thee 1290
400 A flaming poignancy 1293
401 I saw a shape of heaven's delight 1295
402 Through a high-poised tranquillity 1298
403 The beauty of thy face 1301
404 I have wandered 1303
405 Under the listening silence 1305
406 I have drunk deep 1307
407 I have brought to you 1309
408 On thy face a brightness lingers 1312
409 Dead now to me the past 1315
410 How can I dedicate my heart to thee 1317
411 Keep up the flame 1320
412 Winter-Bird 1322
413 I have come to thee 1324
414 Make my heart's fire feel 1326
415 Homing Bird 1328
416 Bonne Annee 1330
417 Dream? 1333
418 My life is your own 133
419 Silence 1337
420 Borne on the swollen crest 1339
421 A new light dawns 1340
422 Two Lights 1341
423 I gather from some fathomless depth 1342
424 Bonne Annee 1944 1343
Sample Pages

Part-I




















Part-II



















Collected Poem of Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments and Corrections (Set of 2 Volumes)

Item Code:
NAM514
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2015
ISBN:
Part I- 9789352100842
Part II- 9789352100859
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
1390
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 1.6 kg
Price:
$55.00
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$44.00   Shipping Free - 4 to 6 days
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Back of the Book

When Nirodbaran, a medical man by profession, came to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, he was surprised to see that some disciples had taken up poetry as a means of sadhana. He too began composing poems in Bengali and developed his talents, sustained by Sri Aurobindo's grace of inspiration and instruction.

Although a stranger to the "realms of gold" of English poetry, he dallied with the foreign Muse and sent his poems to Sri Aurobindo, who in spite of having his hands over-full with eight to nine hours of correspondence to attend to, besides other work, took up these "juvenile spurts of fancy" and reshaped them into worthier stuff.

Thus began "a marvellous journey, the Guru at the helm and the disciple pulling the oars at his behest".

This book is a record of that journey.

K. D. Sethna, a fellow sadhak-poet writes: "The work of patient emphatic correction carried out by Sri Aurobindo is a lesson to all aspirants towards what he called 'the Future Poetry' - and it is a lesson taught repeatedly with a lavish yet most apposite humour."

From the Jacket

In the early 1930s Nirodbaran joined Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, after returning from England as a qualified medical doctor. He came to the Ashram with the intention of practising Yoga, and here he found to his surprise that poetry was one of the vocations taken up by some disciples as a means of sadhana. Sri Aurobindo was giving inspiration to them and taking an active interest in their writings. Nirodbaran, too, indulged in his "eccentric innovations" without knowing anything about English metrical forms. Beginning in a mystic- surrealistic vein, the poems progressed towards "Overhead Poetry" for it was Sri Aurobindo who guided the poet to perfection in his work, till one day in 1935 Sri Aurobindo remarked, "The poet seems to have come out after all. So the pains of labour, and even the forceps, were useful. It is the turn of the Yogi to come out next -what. Even with a forcep.

Then again in 1936, He remarked, "Very fine indeed, very. You have suddenly reached a remarkable maturity of the poetic power, which seems to suggest that the periods of sterility were not so sterile after all or were rather an incubation period, a work of opening going on in the inner being behind the veil before it manifested in the outer. Let us hope the same is going on in the direct sadhana."

Introduction

We are very happy to bring out Collected Poems of Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments and Corrections in two volumes.

Nirodbaran wrote about 423 poems in English, out of which 189 poems were published in three books:

1. Sun-Blossoms, published by Sri Aurobindo Circle, Bombay (1947) with 99 poems. The printed text incorporated Sri Aurobindo's corrections, but these were not indicated.

2. Fifty Poems of Nirodbaran with Corrections and Comments by Sri Aurobindo, published by Geeta Bannerjee, A.R. 188, Salt Lake City, Sector 1, Calcutta 700064 (1983). In this book Sri Aurobindo's corrections and comments, as well as Nirodbaran's correspondence with Sri Aurobindo regarding the poems, were also included.

3. Poems by Amal Kiran and Nirodbaran with Sri Aurobindo's Comments, where forty poems of Nirodbaran were published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram (1987).

The rest of the poems in this edition are being published for the first time.

From January 1936 to 22 November 1938, Nirodbaran wrote a poem a day, sometimes even two. It was quite an up-hill task for him, and usually he underestimated his poems and his capacity as a poet. The Guru, with great patience and compassion, goaded him, putting before him the examples of Horace, Virgil, Mallarme, Shakespeare, etc. - though in a humorous vein. Often Nirodbaran wanted to give up the endeavour, but the Guru 'cajoled' him to continue.

The reader will see for himself the innumerable corrections, even to the minutes detail, that Sri Aurobindo made in each poem - it is indeed 'a God's labour'! This went on till 22 November 1938, after which there was a lull due to Sri Aurobindo's accident on 23 November 1938. Nirodbaran entered the sanctum sanctorum in the capacity of a doctor to serve the Guru.

In 1940 Nirodbaran again took up writing poetry. Sri Aurobindo made very few corrections in the poems of this period.

In this edition, along with the text of the poems as they were first written, we have included all of Sri Aurobindo's corrections and comments. In the margins and in the body of the poem, Sri Aurobindo's comments are in italics and Nirodbaran's are in roman. Elsewhere, Sri Aurobindo's separate comments are in roman while Nirodbaran's questions are in italics.

From Kishor Gandhi's Foreword to Sun-Blossoms

Sri Aurobindo is no lonely creator working for personal aims and his creative work is not confined merely to poetry. Not only are alive in him the magnificence and the greatness of all the past cultural ages, not only has he a firm grasp over all the essential achievements of the present age, but also by him is carried forward all this splendid greatness of the past and the present towards a still more golden future.

More than any other person, he is the torch-bearer of our age, the opener of doors to unknown far-flung splendours, the bringer of the dawn of Divine Life.

In the field of poetry too Sri Aurobindo is the Master, but his work is not confined to his own great poetic achievement; he has also created poetry of singular beauty and excellence through some others who have allowed his master-hand to mould their poetic faculties to extraordinary greatness. In the radiant ethereal heavens of the Poetic Muse Sri Aurobindo is the Sun round whom revolve his satellites, nourished and sustained by the light they receive from him.

Nirodbaran, a selection of whose poems is presented in this volume, is evidently one of the satellites of the Aurobindonian Sun. Qualified of medical profession, he could be least expected to make his way into so disparate a field as poetry and it is doubtful if he would have turned out any valuable poetry had he not come under Sri Aurobindo's potent influence.

The aim of Sri Aurobindo's endeavour being fundamentally none other than the realisation of the Spirit, his influence on those who choose to follow him works primarily to no other end than their spiritual development. But since Sri Aurobindo's acceptance of the central spiritual aim does not imply a complete and unqualified rejection of life and its values, but rather involves their deliverance from their basic insufficiency and a fulfilment of their secret urge by a thoroughgoing and drastic spiritual transmutation of all their powers, no significant endeavour in any field of life is left out of his total and comprehensive aim. The pursuit of the aesthetic value (of which poetry forms a very powerful channel) - the seeking for the beautiful and the delightful in man and nature and God and in all things - has always been one of these high endeavours of the race and in Sri Aurobindo's integral aim it occupies an important place in so far as it helps us to draw near, contact directly and realise intimately the infinite Bliss and Beauty of the Spirit in its essential self-existence as also in its endless manifestation everywhere and, having realised them, to seek for their expression through the inspired rhythmic word and the revelatory vision.

The intense imprint of this inspired intuitive word and vision is evident everywhere in the poems included in this volume, everywhere the lines seem highly vibrating to the subtle felicitous music of some distant and lofty planes of the Spirit; everywhere is felt the enchanting impact on our listening of the voice of the spiritual muse singing sometimes in delicate exquisite strains, sometimes in pro- found massive tones, sometimes in wide-winged, high-soaring rhythms. Nowhere the authentic intuitive inspired utterance gets stifled or marred by the falsifying intrusion of the external speech, nowhere the intrinsic light of the inner vision gets clouded or blurred in the revealing expression; nowhere the deeper subtle profundities and potencies get cribbed or maimed in transmission. The height and intensity of the poet's inspiration no doubt varies, but even at his lowest pitch he never forsakes the intuitive felicity of the genuinely inspired word and vision; never does he lapse into the mere intellectualised or the external mode of speech or seeing.

Even at a very moderate estimate, Nirodbaran's poetry must rank very high indeed; truly evaluated, it must be acclaimed as a definitive milestone on the slowly unfolding path of the evolution of the future poetry.

 

Part-I

Contents

 

  Genesis of Nirodbaran as a poet 1
1 A radiant hush 36
2 Lie thou, my soul 37
3 Like a flame of flowers 39
4 Trickle, trickle 40
5 The sea revels 41
6 The Only Craving 46
7 A wide, inexpressible Peace 49
8 Benighted traveller sore 52
9 Mother, I hear thy intimate silent voice 56
10 Immensely calm and most ineffably sweet 78
11 Long is the way 83
12 The atmosphere is filled 95
13 On this dark corner 117
14 Between two worlds 119
15 Seeker 127
16 The vast green darkness rolls 130
17 Poor clouded soul 131
18 Promise 135
19 The Mother-Queen 138
20 Like a star in the sky 146
21 A feeble lump of clay 149
22 Higher and higher the flame mounts 193
23 Night has her petals 195
24 This Star 210
25 Life is a veil that covers 216
26 Burn no more candles 219
27 In vastitude of the unhorizoned soul 226
28 Past heavenly bodies 230
29 From the far receding line 233
30 A single note, a single song 236
31 Life's joys and sorrows 246
32 Not in those dust-born 249
33 A voiceless mystery 256
34 O purple glory of Light 260
35 The rose of silence 262
36 I hover twixt two skies 265
37 I roam - a lonely figure 271
38 Veiled Divinity 275
39 Under the white felicitous eye 279
40 A giant figure 282
41 Bright mystery of earth 286
42 In the mute wideness 290
43 Crowned with deep sorrows 296
44 Come with the softness 301
45 Like a faint murmur 303
46 Like a pellucid weft 306
47 Brief Soul-Reflections 310
48 Sitting alone 312
49 In the bright cadence 315
50 In the dim horizon 318
51 Cast on the shore of life 321
52 A faint breath of desire 324
53 The Zephyr like a murmured hymn 327
54 O to be free 331
55 Three fingers of white light 336
56 Bird of Ecstasy 339
57 Wandering on the wild seas 343
58 Ocean-Release 346
59 Speak slowly 349
60 The Mother's Touch and Look 353
61 In a bright singleness 358
62 This night of pale-white peace 361
63 Pang of Waking 366
64 The rustling leaves 370
65 The sylvan melodies 374
66 To a great marble house 376
67 Among life's shadows 380
68 Cry from the Dark 386
69 Immaculate Moments 391
70 Flame-petals of the Infinite Flower 395
71 From a white colossal rock 398
72 Bright sky of vision 400
73 Lost in the silver presence 403
74 O far-seeing Eye 406
75 Sometimes beyond the senses call 409
76 Still Far Away 412
77 Out of a distant deep 415
78 The flame of an eternal life 420
79 Revelation 423
80 On the silver halo 427
81 Two eyes draw near to me 430
82 A moonbeam path trails 433
83 Across the darkness 436
84 I stand on the dark edge 439
85 A golden fire glows 442
86 In moonlit silence of the deep 445
87 Lost Way 448
88 My lonely boat voyages 451
89 Slow Unveiling 453
90 In coils benumbed 456
91 O golden mystery of life 457
92 Ascent 462
93 In the voiceless temple 465
94 O mystic Bird of the Infinite 468
95 On waters of a tranquil sea 472
96 Prophetic Coming 475
97 Leaning from an unbridgeable height 477
98 The radiance of a mystic moon 479
99 Like a flaming sun 482
100 I am surrendered to thy Will 486
101 The moon down-looking from the blue 489
102 Let every moment of my life 494
103 My soul is filling with thy Light 498
104 Luminous Eternities 502
105 O vision of delight 506
106 Out of your face there look at me 509
107 Across the azure of my soul 512
108 Beneath white radiance 515
109 The luminous vision 518
110 Thy smile is a diamond flower 521
111 Manifest Thy Godhead 526
112 Slowly my cup is filled 530
113 At the altar of thy feet 535
114 Bring down from heaven 538
115 A wandering silence 541
116 Dedication 545
117 An emptiness has fallen 549
118 My life is a white dream 552
119 In the still hour 554
120 I tread one path 555
121 The wandering waters of my life 557
122 Bright silence 559
123 There is no other way but one 561
124 Let thy silver silence pour 563
125 A lambent cloud 566
126 A flight of pinions 568
127 What do you seek 570
128 One light dims 573
129 A new star 576
130 Infinite are the resources 578
131 The Light has ceased 581
132 The dusk has fallen 584
133 My thoughts are fruited 587
134 I shut my eyes 590
135 O Love, mysterious flower of God 593
136 Behind amount of memory 596
137 O bright inspirer 598
138 Garden of Vision 601
139 Thou shin'st above me 604
140 Along the track 606
141 Bright meteor 609
142 O starry fires 611
143 Like the heart 613
144 Someone leads me 615
145 Myriad worlds of thought 618
146 O radiant minstrel 622
147 In the diamond-hearted vigil 624
148 Wrapt in beauty 628
149 In the sun-red heart 631
150 In a silver-hearted memory 635
151 Under shadow of a giant tree 637
Part-II

Contents

 

152 The flute of dawn 639
153 Haloed Face 642
154 O flickering stars 644
155 My life is veiled 647
156 From a moon-browed silence 650
157 My body is now a flame 652
158 I shall yet rise 654
159 I am thy loneliness 657
160 I walk the flaming path alone 659
161 In my heart stirs a voice 661
162 Encircled by a light 663
163 An infinite silence 666
164 It is the light within 668
165 In radiance white she came 670
166 I am a mystery 672
167 Along the dim edge of the moon 675
168 My life is a sleep 678
169 Each time I take thy Name 680
170 Like a bright voice I come 682
171 In the dim-white presence 684
172 My life is a Light of the One 687
173 My heart has ceased to roam 690
174 My voices mingle with thy voice 693
175 Make me thy shadow less fire 696
176 Deep in my heart 698
177 In cold inert matter 701
178 The sky is now my song 703
179 A giant bird of Light 705
180 Through a hanging haze of night 708
181 Walled in caves 711
182 Myriad Fires 714
183 Like a lonely traveller 717
184 To a timeless mystery's shore 720
185 Timeless flame-wings are spread 722
186 I have grown calm 725
187 Thy sky is a blue fire 727
188 When holding my hand in thine 729
189 The gold track 732
190 No more I ask from thee 735
191 Seeking thy Light I came 738
192 A spark leaps in thy eyes 740
193 Slowly grows like a moon 742
194 Beyond the shimmering edge 744
195 Life is a venturous journey 747
196 My life is a flame 750
197 The timeless spirit sleeps 752
198 I live in the rapture-glow 754
199 The hush of the flame 757
200 My soul is like a star 759
201 My life is slowly changed 761
202 Amber clouds pass 763
203 Like a wandering bird 765
204 O Power invisible 766
205 Within the dark centres 768
206 My soul is borne by the tide 771
207 This radiant hush 776
208 My hours are 778
209 Two strange inscrutable eyes 780
210 My words come line by line 783
211 The dull long years 785
212 Lonely Tramp 787
213 Thy eyes alone can see 789
214 My though like a fiery steed 791
215 I pass through a flaming breath 794
216 A boundless feeling grows 796
217 By a subtle voice I am called 798
218 At moments I become 801
219 When thou art my endless source 804
220 The echoes of a hidden voice 807
221 I hold an empire in sway 811
222 I am the first-born rose of Light 813
223 I entered a hall in dream 815
224 Amidst a glowing fall of light 818
225 My moments pass thinking of you 820
226 In the bright hours 823
227 Beyond this passing phase 830
228 I live in a world of bliss 832
229 I am a sacrifice of heaven 834
230 The still centuries held for me 837
231 The light, the shadow 839
232 In an ageless solitude 841
233 O Name and Figure of infinity 844
234 I sail my boat alone 847
235 Like a celestial bird I fly 850
236 At earth's far end 853
237 He vanished in the slumbrous night 856
238 O sleepless Light 858
239 To my inner eyes 862
240 I guard a secret 864
241 Into a mystic fire 867
242 In the growing silence 869
243 Creation is an immature fruit of time 872
244 On a rude earth-tree 874
245 Each thing bears 877
246 Time is my spirit's golden vision 880
247 In the dreamward silence 883
248 My destiny is linked 888
249 I cannot lie a heap of clay 890
250 The last streak of the sun 892
251 I call you out of my dark clay 895
252 Cast from your sight the veil 898
253 Exiled on earth I lived 901
254 When the life fails to soar 904
255 I weave my lonely dream 906
256 A glowing heart of day 909
257 Bird of a secret light 914
258 Like a white wandering sail 917
259 O silence of the infinite Soul 921
260 A fire leaps from range to range 923
261 I dive into the fathomless 926
262 I rise from rove of desire 930
263 My soul is lifted 934
264 Bring into my waiting heart 938
265 A flame of God 941
266 My heart is a new-born flame 945
267 My breath of life 948
268 Creation like a fair 952
269 Thy rapturous presence 956
270 I have waited for thee 959
271 My solitude is crowned 963
272 I am a vision of God 968
273 Eternities are crowded 971
274 The clouds have vanished 974
275 A Power lifts me 978
276 No other sound is in my ear 981
277 Each day brings 984
278 My body is a light 988
279 In thy omnipotent Will 992
280 Within thy halo I live 995
281 Thou art my source of light 999
282 Wherever her eyes fall 1002
283 An infinite Beauty flows 1004
284 A new Light breaks 1006
285 Behind the splendour 1008
286 My thoughts are broken 1010
287 I bear a subtle voice 1013
288 In vain you call 1016
289 To yield one's will 1019
290 What beauty flowers 1021
291 Life has revealed 1023
292 Through our dark portals 1026
293 15th August 1029
294 The brief inexpressible touches 1032
295 Thy word has reached 1034
296 A diamond light 1036
297 Thou art the primal source 1038
298 A fire rises 1040
299 In the silent spaces 1043
300 Thy spirit's eternal beauty 1045
301 O Dream of solitude 1047
302 Within the flaming circles 1050
303 I gather fruits of thought 1053
304 My life is a white mystery 1056
305 The breath of life 1059
306 What world of power you hold 1065
307 Thy cadence beats 1067
308 Deep in my heart 1070
309 O Image of Godhood 1072
310 A Voice from the invisible Deep 1076
311 A moon-white bird of thought 1079
312 In foam-white seas of thought 1081
313 The silent spheres of thought 1083
314 Lost in a deep world 1086
315 From deep to deep I travel 1089
316 In the inviolate silence of my thought 1092
317 The snow-white spaces of my mind 1094
318 I live in the shadow of infinity 1097
319 I live upon the brink 1099
320 From a gold infinity Thou hast come 1101
321 I am no more a spark 1104
322 Into a flame of vision 1106
323 A strange universe 1109
324 A New Splendour Breaks 1111
325 Upon mortality's shore 1113
326 I have become a fiery intimate voice 1115
327 I gather from some fathomless depth 1118
328 Thy Presence fills 1121
329 Immortal Bride 1123
330 Upon the silent shore 1125
331 O bright Spirit of earth 1128
332 Upon the solitary shores 1131
333 A Mysterious Tune 1134
334 Gold Sun-Rose 1136
335 My heart is voyaging 1139
336 I walk along time's weary desert shore 1142
337 A silver flame 1144
338 In an inviolable hush 1146
339 Within the limitless reverie 1149
340 The many-faceted memory 1152
341 In a flame-ecstasy 1154
342 My lonely hours grow 1156
343 Pilgrim-Life 1158
344 Strange mysteries in the poised heart 1160
345 A touch of thy hand 1162
346 Upon a rock of trance 1164
347 I bear upon a mirror 1167
348 Looking into the secrecy 1170
349 O Light Inviolable 1172
350 I pluck the flowers 1175
351 Communion 1175
352 A grey line of old memory 1179
353 Along the sapphire margin 1181
354 Unknown Awakenings 1183
355 No more assailed 1186
356 Home of All Felicity 1188
357 I strain my mortal ears 1190
358 Towards the worship 1193
359 My silent gaze 1194
360 Under the banner 1196
361 Life now is part of immortality 1199
362 I have begun to live 1201
363 Quest Fulfilled 1204
364 With outstretched arms 1207
365 All distance vanishes 1210
366 I have brought to thee 1213
367 In a silver tide 1216
368 From the tranced moments 1218
369 Thy Presence wraps me 1222
370 I have cast from me 1226
371 I feel encircled 1228
372 Deep in the diamond centre 1231
373 I have glimpsed a magic beauty 1233
374 I hear thy footfalls 1235
375 The pure magnetic beauty 1238
376 Thou callest me 1240
377 Standing upon a peak 1242
378 My body's cup 1244
379 My mind is a changing fire 1246
380 0 Beauty, my body veils thy mystery 1249
381 Out of a burning row of candle-stars 1251
382 In a strange thrill of fire 1254
383 I seek thee 1256
384 I paused a while 1258
385 I stood rooted like a tree 1260
386 Thou art the craving of my soul 1262
387 Birthday 17th November 1940 1264
388 Amid night's flickering mirth 1267
389 I am thy mystic singer 1269
390 The Mother 1271
391 Liberation 1273
392 My life a single time-poised banyan tree 1275
393 Sparks of thy immortal Grace 1278
394 Tree of Vision 1281
395 My heart was athirst for a beauty 1283
396 Bright vision of the Infinite 1285
397 0 secret sun 1287
398 Beyond Dawn's precipice 1289
399 A single smile from thee 1290
400 A flaming poignancy 1293
401 I saw a shape of heaven's delight 1295
402 Through a high-poised tranquillity 1298
403 The beauty of thy face 1301
404 I have wandered 1303
405 Under the listening silence 1305
406 I have drunk deep 1307
407 I have brought to you 1309
408 On thy face a brightness lingers 1312
409 Dead now to me the past 1315
410 How can I dedicate my heart to thee 1317
411 Keep up the flame 1320
412 Winter-Bird 1322
413 I have come to thee 1324
414 Make my heart's fire feel 1326
415 Homing Bird 1328
416 Bonne Annee 1330
417 Dream? 1333
418 My life is your own 133
419 Silence 1337
420 Borne on the swollen crest 1339
421 A new light dawns 1340
422 Two Lights 1341
423 I gather from some fathomless depth 1342
424 Bonne Annee 1944 1343
Sample Pages

Part-I




















Part-II



















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