Poem-a-Day - "Departure" by Chaman Lall

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January 22, 2022 

Departure

Chaman Lall

                    I

This wind sighing recalls certain things.
I warned you:
Beware of it:
Passion has wings;
And will return with the year’s return
Like a bird on migrant wings.
This wind sighing recalls
Certain half-remembered things.

                    II

You have left something of you behind.
But you went with eager step,
Fearful, lest what you have left behind
Should halt your eager step.
When the lean years bring you back,
You will be as one
Who has laughed the lean years with strange men;
You will be different then.

                    III

Beyond the gate of the sun
I shall not seek you:
Before the last days are done
You have sung your last song,
You have played your last tune,
You have danced your steps too soon.
It is not easy
When great moments are so few:
Beyond the gate of the sun
I shall not seek you.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 22, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.

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“Departure” first appeared in Coterie I, no. 1 (May, 1919).

Diwan Chaman Lall was an Indian politician, diplomat, journalist, and poet. The founding editor of the early Modernist literary magazine Coterie, as well as a writer and editor for the Bombay Chronicle, he authored multiple books, including Coolie: The Story of Labour and Capital in India (Oriental Publishing House, 1932). A prominent figure in the trade union and labor movements of twentieth-century India, he died on November 12, 1973.
Coterie
(May, 1919)


“Dream and the Song” by James D. Corrothers
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“I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV)” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
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