The Temple Tank

Original Text: 
The Golden Treasury of Indo-Anglian Poetry 1828-1965, ed. Vinayak Kristna Gokak (New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 1970): 166. PR 1174 G6 1970 Robarts Library
2In quietness I cannot imitate:
3Where Dawn and Sunset fling with reckless hand
4A bounty that I cannot understand:
5Where little things of fur and claw and scale,
6With careless scorn put me beyond the pale,
7And the rapt silence broken by their stir
8Wraps closer round the restless worshipper;
9Here, to this place of wonderment and peace,
10With hurried steps, impatient, ill-at-ease,
11I come to shed this ceaseless strife that mars
12Even the beauty of the changeless stars:
13And I return, undaunted, calm, and slow,
14Careless of how I move, or where I go,
15With benediction of this solitude,
16Not understanding God, but -- understood.


1] A tank, "In India, [is] A pool or lake, or an artificial reservoir or cistern, used for purposes of irrigation, and as a storage-place for drinking-water" (OED, "tank," sb. 1). As well, temple visitors would use the tank for ritualistic bathing, for which see (C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation, Madras; courtesy of Dr. Leon C. Pereira). Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
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