Author: Sisirkumar Ghose
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8120708792
For readers of Tagore in translation, his later poems are unknown country. In spite of the drag of the past, these show significant shifts in style, tone and content, experience and attitude. His response to man, cosmos, history, evolution and destiny is not the same as before. There are hints of more than one change. We notice tensions and paradoxes: on the one hand, a coming closer to life, the tragedy of the pariah dog, the sparrow pecking at the glass pane, the nameless wild flower; on the one hand, a coming closer to life, the tragedy of the pariah dog, the sparrow pecking at the glass pane, the nameless wild flower; on the other hand, the pull of the beyond. To which of these two was he more loyal?
The increase in self-consciousness is unmistakable. He openly admits a double failure; he has not been a people’s poet; also that he did not know who he was. Who are you? No answer comes. These rather un-Tagorean poems of the last years, specially those written or dictated on death-bed, make him taller than ever before.
He is more than the author of Gitanjali. There are several Rabindranaths. The reader has to discriminate.
The drama of the poet’s mind has been presented with an insight that will compel a revaluation of the received image. We shall gain a truer, tougher, completer Tagore, in some ways quite different.
-K S Srinivasa Iyengar in New World
Prose Poems (I)