by Rabindranath Tagore
loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch
Each morning this dog,
who has become quite attached to me,
sits silently at my feet
until, gently caressing his head,
I acknowledge his company.
This simple recognition gives my companion such joy
he shudders with sheer delight.
Among all languageless creatures
he alone has seen through man entire—
has seen beyond what is good or bad in him
to such a depth he can lay down his life
for the sake of love alone.
Now it is he who shows me the way
through this unfathomable world throbbing with life.
When I see his deep devotion,
his offer of his whole being,
I fail to comprehend ...
How, through sheer instinct,
has he discovered whatever it is that he knows?
With his anxious piteous looks
he cannot communicate his understanding
and yet somehow has succeeded in conveying to me
out of the entire creation
the true loveworthiness of man.
“This Dog” appeared in the poetry collection Arogya by Rabindranath Tagore. Keywords: Tagore, translation, dog, feet, head, caress, caressing, joy, delight, devotion, friendship, companion, companionship, whole, being, entire, instinct, loveworthiness