You say that father writes a lot of books,
but what he writes I don’t understand.
He was reading to you all the evening,
but could you really make out what he meant?
What nice stories, mother, you can tell us!
Why can’t father write like that, I wonder?
Did he never hear from his own mother
stories of giants and fairies and princesses?
Has he forgotten them all?

Often when he gets late for his bath
you have to go and call him an hundred times.
You wait and keep his dishes warm for him,
but he goes on writing and forgets.
Father always plays at making books.
If I ever go to play in father’s room,
you come and call me,”What a naughty child!”
If I make the slightest noise you say,
“Don’t you see that father’s at his work?”
What is the fun of always writing and writing?

When I take up father’s pen or pencil
and write upon his book just as he does, –
a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i, – why do you get cross
with me then, mother?
You never say a word when father writes.

When my father writes heaps and heaps of papers,
mother, you don’t seem to mind at all.
But if I take only one sheet to make a boat with,
you say, “Child, how troublesome you are!”
What do you think of father’s spoiling sheets and
sheets of paper with black marks all over on both sides?

Next Poem

Rabindranath Tagore

(This poem is from ‘The Crescent Moon’ by Tagore