final day will come ~ distilled troiku

final day will come_2.jpg

The challenge for Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #52 Tagore’s “Last Curtain” is to distill a poem by Rabindranath Tagore into a haiku, which is then to be the base to create a troiku. Here is the Tagore poem to be distilled:

Last Curtain

I know that the day will come
when my sight of this earth shall be lost,
and life will take its leave in silence,
drawing the last curtain over my eyes.

Yet stars will watch at night,
and morning rise as before,
and hours heave like sea waves casting up pleasures and pains.

When I think of this end of my moments,
the barrier of the moments breaks
and I see by the light of death
thy world with its careless treasures.
Rare is its lowliest seat,
rare is its meanest of lives.

Things that I longed for in vain
and things that I got
—let them pass.
Let me but truly possess
the things that I ever spurned
and overlooked.

               © Rabindranath Tagore

My haiku, followed by its troiku:

final day will come
needless treasures gone with light
only desire truth

final day will come
witnessed by stars in the night
marking endless time

needless treasures gone with light
basest desires meaningless
no longer needed

only desire truth
possessing finest detail
value overlooked

final day will come_1.png

A troiku is three haiku, with each of the three lines from a suggested haiku as the first line of each haiku in the troiku. It’s not always possible to have a 5-7-5 format in the second haiku, due to the limitations of the suggested haiku. The name of the form is derived from “troika,” a sled or carriage drawn by three horses harnessed side-by-side, an iconic symbol of Imperial Russia.


Image sources:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
(Life of Nichiren: A Vision of Prayer on the Waves, by Utagawa Kuniyoshi)
Wikimedia Commons (troika)

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