Sri Chinmoy’s poem for December 4th reveals a most interesting rhyming scheme of abccab, in which the first two lines are repeated as a refrain at the end, creating a ring pattern:

God and I have the same desires,
Day in, day out.
We want by each other to be sought,
And we want to embrace each other taut.
God and I have the same desires,
Day in, day out.

        A close reading of the poem, however, discloses the fact that the statement used by the poet to wrap the poem has entirely different overtones depending on its placement. In the beginning, we are curious to know what God, who is the Possessor of the universe, could want that the speaker also wants. What could God possibly ‘desire’?  This is a word that we associate specifically with earthly things. What then could be the insatiable longing that preoccupies both God and man ‘day in, day out’?

            The poet supplies a twofold answer. In the first part, the poet gives us a sublime and mystical image of hide-and seek between the lover and the beloved. Yet who is hiding and who is seeking? Both man and God, it appears, are waiting to be found by the other. Each one has taken the passive role, wanting to be sought, not to seek. Surely this is a recipe for two lives that are destined to remain apart!
The poet then enunciates the second part of man and God’s mutual desire: ‘we want to embrace each other taut.’ The unusual use of the adjective ‘taut’, rather than the anticipated ‘tight’, suggests a union so close that there is no gulf between man and God.

           And yet it leaves us at an impasse which is seemingly insoluble. Both man and God live only for this union, but as long as both sides are waiting to be sought, it cannot take place. That is why the repetition of the opening lines at the end of the poem carries with it the aura of unfulfilled desires. There is a sadness to this ring poem that compels the reader to probe his own heart for a solution. Clearly, there can only be one resolution to this unfortunate dilemma: one side must agree to seek, the other to be sought.

            By compelling the reader to supply a solution to the poem, Sri Chinmoyactively engages us. His poems are not an exercise in vague, half-defined longings or emotions. He writes with a specific aim and that is to awaken us to another reality. In this case, he presents a very poignant image of man and God who are supposed to be playing hide-and-seek, but who cannot go beyond hide-and-hide. Where then is the game? If we respond fully to the poem, the game is about to be played.