MASTERPIECES OF WORLD LITERATURE: GITANJALI (Special Nook Edition) by RABINDRANATH TAGORE (Indian Bengali Winner of the NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE and Author of Home and the World) Poetry Influence on William Butler Yeats, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz

MASTERPIECES OF WORLD LITERATURE: GITANJALI (Special Nook Edition) by RABINDRANATH TAGORE (Indian Bengali Winner of the NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE and Author of Home and the World) Poetry Influence on William Butler Yeats, Pablo Neruda, Octavio Paz

by Rabindranath Tagore
     
 

Gitanjali is a collection of 103 English poems, large translations, of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. This volume became very famous in the West, and was widely translated. The translations were undertaken prior to a visit to England in 1912, where the poems were extremely well received. A slender volume was published in 1913, with an exhilarating preface by W…  See more details below

Overview

Gitanjali is a collection of 103 English poems, large translations, of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. This volume became very famous in the West, and was widely translated. The translations were undertaken prior to a visit to England in 1912, where the poems were extremely well received. A slender volume was published in 1913, with an exhilarating preface by W. B. Yeats. In the same year, Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel prize.

The poems of Gitanjali express a largely metaphysical outlook, talking about a union with the "supreme"; but like much western poetry that explores similar themes, the language suggests the union of two earthly lovers. This type of anthropomorphic depiction of celestial love is quite common in the Vaishnava literature of India since the 12th century. Rabindranath Tagore encountered it also in his interactions with the Baul community in rural Bengal.

Some poems involve themes related to nature, but here, too, the spiritual is subtly present, as in poem 57:

"Light, my light, the world-filling light, the eye-kissing light, heart-sweetening light!

Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the centre of my life; the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love; the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.

The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light. Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.

The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling, and it scatters gems in profusion.

Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling, and gladness without measure. The heaven's river has drowned its banks and the flood of joy is abroad."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013033078
Publisher:
Masterpieces of World Literature
Publication date:
08/21/2011
Series:
Indian Poetry Bengali Poetry | Literature of India and Bangladesh | Tagore Gitanjali | Nook NOOKBook , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
596,105
File size:
118 KB

Meet the Author

Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941) was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music. Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he was the first non-European Nobel laureate. His poetry in translation was viewed as spiritual, and this together with his mesmerizing persona gave him a prophet-like aura in the West.

Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to political and personal topics. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced), and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and contemplation. Tagore penned two national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla.

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen saw Tagore as a "towering figure", being a "deeply relevant and many-sided contemporary thinker". Tagore's Bengali-language writings—the 1939 Rabīndra Rachanāvalī—is also canonised as one of Bengal's greatest cultural treasures. Tagore himself was proclaimed "the greatest poet India has produced".

Tagore was famed throughout much of Europe, North America, and East Asia. In Japan, he influenced such figures as Nobel laureate Yasunari Kawabata. Tagore's works were widely translated into English, Dutch, German, Spanish, and other European languages by Czech indologist Vincenc Lesný, French Nobel laureate André Gide, Russian poet Anna Akhmatova, former Turkish Prime Minister Bülent Ecevit,[122] and others. In the United States, Tagore's lecturing circuits, particularly those in 1916–1917, were widely attended and acclaimed.

Tagore influenced Chileans Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, Mexican writer Octavio Paz, and Spaniards José Ortega y Gasset, Zenobia Camprubí, and Juan Ramón Jiménez. Ortega y Gasset wrote that "Tagore's wide appeal [may stem from the fact that] he speaks of longings for perfection that we all have ... Tagore awakens a dormant sense of childish wonder, and he saturates the air with all kinds of enchanting promises for the reader, who ... pays little attention to the deeper import of Oriental mysticism".

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