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The night is black and the forest has no end;
a million people thread it in a million ways.
We have trysts to keep in the darkness, but where
or with whom – of that we are unaware.
But we have this faith – that a lifetime’s bliss
will appear any minute, with a smile upon its lips.
Scents, touches, sounds, snatches of songs
brush us, pass us, give us delightful shocks.
Then peradventure there’s a flash of lightning:
whomever I see that instant I fall in love with.
I call that person and cry: `This life is blest!
for your sake such miles have I traversed!’
All those others who came close and moved off
in the darkness – I don’t know if they exist or not.

Short Poem Analysis

"On the Nature of Love" by Rabindranath Tagore is a reflective and contemplative poem that delves into the complexities of love and its multifaceted nature. Through its lyrical language and metaphorical imagery, the poem explores the nuances of love's emotions and its transformative power.

The poem contemplates the dualities of love, describing it as both a "dream" and a "thorny path." This juxtaposition captures the range of emotions that love can evoke, from joy and ecstasy to pain and challenges.

Tagore employs nature imagery to illustrate the various dimensions of love. The imagery of the "morning star" and the "dewdrop" evoke feelings of freshness, beauty, and delicate moments. On the other hand, the image of the "dead leaves" symbolizes the ephemeral nature of love and the eventual fading of its intensity.

The poem's exploration of love's "painful longing" and the idea that "only through pain" can one reach its essence speaks to the idea that love's challenges and hardships contribute to its depth and significance.

Tagore's use of sensory and emotional language, such as "melting melody," "wild fire," and "burning touch," creates a vivid and evocative portrayal of the emotional intensity that love can bring.

The poem concludes with the idea that love transcends the boundaries of the physical world and becomes a force that connects individuals with the divine. The image of the "long night" suggests a spiritual journey and a yearning for union with a higher existence.

"On the Nature of Love" is a poetic exploration of the intricacies of love, emphasizing its paradoxes and its ability to evoke a wide range of emotions. The poem celebrates both the joy and the challenges of love, suggesting that its transformative power can lead to profound personal growth and a connection with the spiritual realm. Through its contemplative language and rich imagery, the poem invites readers to reflect on their own experiences with love and its many dimensions.

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