Gitanjali: Rabindranath Tagore
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Gitanjali is a aggregation of 103 Bengali verse forms which were translated to several linguistic communications like in English. and other European linguistic communications. The significance of the term explains the nature of the book. Gitanjali. the term comes the amalgamation of two words ‘git’ and ‘anjali’ . ‘git’ means song and ‘anjali’ agencies offering. Therefore. it means ‘Songs of Offerings’ . Gitanjali is a book to experience and care for. the greatest book of a great author. Tagore wrote verse forms for assorted tempers. be it love. devotedness. narratives. sorrow. joy even pragmatism.
Rabindranath Tagore has provided Western civilization with strong illustration of Eastern Philosophy in both prose and poesy. Tagore had written his Gitanjali ( song offerings ) in Bengali. and after he learned from William Rothenstein of Western involvement in them. he translated them into English. Chiefly for this volume. Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. the same twelvemonth that Macmillan brought out a hard-cover transcript of his prose interlingual renditions of Gitanjali.
This verse form shows the appeal of unimportance: it is a supplication to assist the poet open his bosom to the Divine Beloved without immaterial words or gestures. A conceited poet would bring forth conceited poesy. so this poet wants to be unfastened to the simple humbleness of truth that merely the Divine Beloved can afford him. As Yeats says. these vocals grow out of civilization in which art and faith are the same. so it is non surprising that we find our offeror of vocals talking to God in vocal after vocal. as is the instance in # 7.
And the last line in vocal # 7 is a subtle–or possibly non so subtle–allusion to Bhagavan Krishna. Harmonizing the Paramahansa Yogananda. “Krishna is shown in Hindu art with a flute ; on it he plays the enrapturing vocal that recalls to their true place the human psyches rolling in psychotic belief. ” W. B. Yeats. in the debut to Tagore’s Gitanjali. writes that this volume has “stirred my blood as nil has for old ages. . . . ” He explains. “These wordss. . . show in their idea a universe I have dreamed of all my life long.
” Then Yeats describes the Indian civilization that he feels is responsible for bring forthing this singular work: “The work of a supreme civilization. they yet appear as much the growing of the common dirt as the grass and the hastes. A tradition. where poesy and faith are the same thing. has passed through the centuries. garnering from learned and unconditioned metaphor and emotion. and carried back once more to the battalion the idea of the bookman and of the baronial.
” He contrasts the art of his ain civilization: “If our life was non a continual warfare. we would non hold gustatory sensation. we would non cognize what is good. we would non happen listeners and readers. Four-fifths of our energy is spent in this wrangle with bad gustatory sensation. whether in our ain heads or in the heads of others. ” Yeats might look harsh in his appraisal of his ain culture’s motive to art. but. no uncertainty. he has right identified the temper of his epoch.
Yeats holding been born of Western civilization. his birth day of the months are celebrated as the markers of two awful Western wars 1865 and 1939. So his unsmooth estimation of the creative persons being motivated by warfare is rather apprehensible. On the other manus. his appraisal of Tagore’s accomplishment is accurate. As Yeats tells us. Tagore’s vocals are non merely respected and admired by the scholarly category. but besides they are sung in the Fieldss by provincials.
Yeats would ne’er hold expected his ain poesy to be accept by such a broad spectrum of the population. My favourite Gitanjali verse form ( song offering ) is # 7: My vocal has put off her adornments. She has no pride of frock and ornament. Decorations would impair our brotherhood. They would come between thee and me. Their jingling would submerge thy susurrations. My poet’s amour propre dies in shame before thy sight. O Master Poet. I have sat down at thy pess.
Merely allow me do my life simple and straight like a flute of reed for thee to make full with music. Gitanjali poem # 7: My vocal has put off her adornments. She has no pride of frock and ornament. Decorations would impair our brotherhood. They would come between thee and me. Their jingling would submerge thy susurrations. My poet’s amour propre dies in shame before thy sight. O Master Poet. I have sat down at thy pess. Merely allow me do my life simple and straight like a flute of reed for thee to make full with music.
These words are metaphysical yet have a beautiful message hidden. A message that is elusive yet clear. It says that love is liberated from all the societal constraints… pure feelings. It is a free bird merely in demand of Communion. Human love and heavenly love are brought parallel… like Jayadeva does in his GeetGovind. Vaishnavs like Jayadeva derived inspiration from Lord Vishnu and his most admired embodiment. Krishna.
But. Tagore saw elements of similarity between human and heavenly love in the Baul community of Bengal and translated them into his poesy. I feel that literature like this binds the whole state into one. foregrounding pure emotions like love. The cosmopolitan yet multiple civilization of our state is displayed in this beautiful twine of vocals as one. the catholicity lying in emotions and the multiplicity in the many types of civilizations.
This twine is non that of pearls or rocks but of love and one that brings us closer to divine. Tagore. like Chaucer’s precursors. writes music for his words. and one understands at every minute that he is so abundant. so self-generated. so make bolding in his passion. so full of surprise. because he is making something which has ne’er seemed unusual. unnatural. or in demand of defense mechanism.
These poetries will non lie in small well-printed books upon ladies’ tabular arraies. who turn the pages with faineant custodies that they may suspire over a life without significance. which is yet all they can cognize of life. or be carried by pupils at the university to be laid aside when the work of life Begins. but. as the coevalss base on balls. travelers will hum them on the main road and work forces rowing upon the rivers.
Lovers. while they await one another. shall happen. in murmuring them. this love of God a charming gulf wherein their ain more acrimonious passion may bathe and regenerate its young person. At every minute the bosom of this poet flows outward to these without disparagement or superciliousness. for it has known that they will understand ; and it has filled itself with the circumstance of their lives.
The traveler in the read-brown apparels that he wears that dust may non demo upon him. the miss seeking in her bed for the petals fallen from the garland of her royal lover. the retainer or the bride expecting the master’s home-coming in the empty house. are images of the bosom turning to God.
Flowers and rivers. the blowing of conch shells. the heavy rain of the Indian July. or the tempers of that bosom in brotherhood or in separation ; and a adult male sitting in a boat upon a river playing luting. like one of those figures full of cryptic significance in a Chinese image. is God Himself.
A whole people. a whole civilisation. immeasurably unusual to us. seems to hold been taken up into this imaginativeness ; and yet we are non moved because of its unfamiliarity. but because we have met our ain image. as though we had walked in Rossetti’s willow wood. or heard. possibly for the first clip in literature. our voice as in a dream.
1. Rabindranath Tagore. Gitanjali. Electronic text centre. University of Virginia.