Gitanjali: Song Offerings

Gitanjali: Song Offerings

by Rabindranath Tagore

Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore was one of the most important writers in 20th-century Indian literature. Among his expansive and impressive body of work, "Gitanjali" is regarded as one of his greatest achievements, and has been a perennial bestseller since it was first published in 1910.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Poetry
  • Rating: 4.33
  • Pages: 80
  • Publish Date: January 1st 2005 by
  • Isbn10: 1420926306
  • Isbn13: 9781420926309

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I always wanted to write a review on Geetanjali, as it has been very close to my heart and always will be, but something stopped me every time I made an attempt. Maybe it was the memory of all the overflowing emotions which I had experienced while reading these poems or it was my immense love and respect for its writer that made me feel unworthy to make any sort of comment on his work, I cannot point out. But today, after my small discussion with Steven on Geetanjali, I walked to my desk, picked my copy of this book, held it tight in my hands as if I might lose myself in my beloved solitude if I dont hold onto these pages. Geetajali is now sitting next to me; Tagores beautiful gleaming eyes are looking lovingly at me, telling me to write this review. She sat next to me and read a few poems aloud, from her favorite passages she had marked as a child. On my 13th birthday, my mother gifted me a beautiful brand-new-hardcover edition of Geetanjali, which was filled with poems in Tagores handwriting along with their English translations and beautiful pictures of Bengal. So like always, I selected my favorite corner of our house, sat down and started reading my new gift. Let me remind you, this was my first serious venture into reading poetry, I didnt know what to expect but because my mother appreciated it so much I had a lot of expectations from these poems. At the immortal touch of thy hands my little heart loses its limits in joy and gives birth to utterance ineffable. There was a time when I stopped reading all other books, it was just Geetanjali for me. I was having a serious love affair with my new-found favorite book. I read it everyday, aloud, to let those words sink into my heart with their weight of beauty. Even today I find my eyes filled with tears as I read these poems. Though he wrote these poems out of spiritual love or maybe for other million reasons, I believed that out of those million reasons, one would have been to support my existence in this world. He was a spiritual man, and his poems depict that love. Passing Breeze Yes, I know, this is nothing but thy love, O beloved of my heart---this golden light that dances upon the leaves, these idle clouds sailing across the sky, this passing breeze leaving its coolness upon my forehead. Another one which depicts his longing for His love: She She who ever had remained in the depth of my being, in the twilight of gleams and of glimpses; she who never opened her veils in the morning light, will be my last gift to thee, my God, folded in my final song. He takes roles of a child, a lover, a farmer, a poet, a prisoner, a musician, to explain his love in various forms but equally great.I wish I could quote every single line from every single poem and show you how lyrical and scintillating his writing is. Don't let my writing decide if you should read this book or not, read it nevertheless.

Born in 1861 and having found his calling at the tender age of eight, Tagore chiselled his artistic bent to perfection by diligently harbouring an observant and free stream of thought in his heart. Passionately championing the dream that all his countrymen shared at that point in time, he etches out in this beautiful poem the country he wants to breathe 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. Ornaments would mar our union; they would come between thee and me; their jingling would drown our whispers' (#7) Deeply drunk in the bounty of nature and ever slipping to hold a fulsome slice of this luscious being, he sings with a mesmerized heart, about its many beautiful children: The sleep that flits the babys eyes does anybody know from where it comes? The smile that flickers on babys lips when he sleeps Does anybody know where it was born? Yes, there is rumour that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning the smile that flickers on babys lips when he sleeps. Yes, when the mother was a young girl it lay pervading in her heart in tender and silent mystery of love the sweet, soft freshness that has bloomed on babys limbs. (#61) At the swoop of death, his philosophical eye merges the two worlds into one, equating their warmth to that of a mother: I was not aware of the moment when I first crossed the threshold of this life.

These verses will not lie in little well-printed books upon ladies' tables, who turn the pages with indolent hands that they may sigh over a life without meaning, which is yet all they can know of life, or be carried by students at the university to be laid aside when the work of life begins, but, as the generations pass, travellers will hum them on the highway and men rowing upon the rivers.(8) And more than a hundred years since its original publication, where in those hundred years we have witnessed, through historys questioned objectivity, men doubt the ideals of their forefathers and see thier beloved posterities entirely discard what has been handed down, it is extraordinary to enjoy sometime like Gitanjali, which in all its completeness is certainly worthy to be read beyond its year if not entirely a timeless masterpiece on its own. On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances. The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea beach. On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children.

Oh my only friend, my best beloved, the gates are open in my house - do not pass by like a dream. " " Art thou abroad on this stormy night on thy journey of love, my friend ? By what dim shore of the ink-black river, by what far edge of the frowning forest, through what mazy depth of gloom art thou threading thy course to come to me, my friend?

I am already loving this book of poetry, though I fear I will need to read it several times before I can actually say I have consumed it.

It feels as if Tagore is a writer, painter, musician and a charioteer of one's soul, all at the same time. Sometimes, poems are too complex and reader feels utterly lost; Not the case with Tagore's pieces at all.

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 acclaimedor pannedfor their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation.