VOCATION BY RABINDRANATH TAGORE
On your way to school or market you see many people at work. In pairs, discuss what you have noticed. Then read this poem. You may read it aloud with a partner, if you like.
When the gong sounds ten in the morning and
I walk to school by our lane,
Every day I meet the hawker crying, “Bangles,
There is nothing to hurry him on, there is no
road he must take, no place he must go to, no
time when he must come home.
I wish I were a hawker, spending my day in
the road, crying, “Bangles, crystal bangles!”
When at four in the afternoon I come back from
I can see through the gate of that house the
gardener digging the ground.
He does what he likes with his spade, he soils
his clothes with dust, nobody takes him to
task, if he gets baked in the sun or gets wet.
I wish I were a gardener digging away at the
garden with nobody to stop me from digging.
Just as it gets dark in the evening and my
mother sends me to bed,
I can see through my open window the
watchman walking up and down.
The lane is dark and lonely, and the streetlamp stands like a giant with one red eye in
The watchman swings his lantern and walks
with his shadow at his side, and never once
goes to bed in his life.
I wish I were a watchman walking the street
all night, chasing the shadows with my