Tagore and his 'Gitanjali'

Rabindra Nath Tagore (1861 - 1941), the celebrated poet, story writer and dramatist was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 (in the words of the Nobel Prize Committee) “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West".
His most famous poem ‘Gitanjali’ was originally written in Bengali language. Tagore was born in Bengal in 1861. He writings tasted initial success as a writer in his native Bengal.
‘Gitanjali’ (‘song offerings’), is a collection of 103 poems. Originally written in Bengali, they were translated in English by Tagore himself. The characteristic feature of the collection is that the Introduction to Gitanjali was written by W.B.Yeats. Tagore had translated these songs from Bengali into English before his visit to England in 1912. His poems were well received in England.
‘Gitanjali’ begins with: “Thou hast made me endless, such is thy pleasure. This frail vessel thou emptiest again and again, and fillest it ever with fresh life.”
In one of the songs ‘Where mind is without fear’ Tagore has dreamed of a utopian land, a land of his dreams, a perfect place to live in.


“Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.”

These are the vices present around us even today. The lines are as valid today as they might have been then. If we sketch a place in our minds according to the lines of this song, it would be like a heaven on this earth. May his dreams and wishes be fulfilled! This world would be a much better place to live in with only a fraction of those things coming true. Let’s pledge to add a bit towards it on our part. Remember every drop counts!

2 comments:

  1. My regards to beautiful creator of this poetry. It does lead to land of Utopia.It reminds me of a song " aa chal ke tujhe mein leke chalu ek aise gagan ke tale jaha gam bhi na ho aansu bhi na ho bus pyaare hi pyaar pale.

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  2. Took me time to read all the comments, but I enjoyed the article. Very helpful article! Makes total sense. It's always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! I'm sure you had fun writing this article.

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