Gitanjali is a collection of poems translated from the original Bengali to English by Tagore himself. This was the work that was instrumental in winning the Nobel Prize for Tagore.
Summary Of The Book
Gitanjali, the English version, is a collection of selected poems from the original Bengali Gitanjali, and from other collections like Gitimalya, Kheya and Naivedya.
This anthology, translated by the poet himself, contains 103 works of poetry. They do not necessarily stick to the original versions, and there are many radical modifications. Some of the translations leave out parts of the original, while some are greatly altered. One poem in this collection is actually a combination of two different poems in the original Bengali.
Yet, they retain the vibrancy of the original work, conveying powerful and diverse emotions like joy and sadness. Many of these works are about nature. True to the name of the collection, a thread of spirituality runs through them all. Gitanjali means an Offering of Songs.
This work was composed by Tagore before his visit to England in 1912. It was highly appreciated by his audience and readers. The Irish poet, W. B. Yeats, felt that he had been stirred by Tagore’s poems in a manner like he hadn’t been in years. Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, mainly because of Gitanjali.
About Rabindranath Tagore
Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet and novelist.
Other works by Tagore available in English include The Crescent Moon, Glimpses of Bengal, Creative Unity, The Lover Of God, The Cycle of Spring, My Boyhood Days and The Gardener.
Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861 in Calcutta. He is credited with bringing Bengali literature into the modern era, evolving a new style free of classical confines. He was the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. The national anthems of both, India and Bangladesh, are his compositions. Tagore was not only a writer, but also composed 2,230 songs, and wrote plays. He took up painting and drawing when he was sixty, and had many successful exhibitions. He was married to Mrinalini Devi, and they had five children. He died in Calcutta, aged 80, in 1941.
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