You need to understand the language of love – Rabindranath Tagore

This was a comment in response to an article about Rabindranath Tagore in the Guardian:

On a flight from New York to Boston I was rereading Tagore today (Click here for more on Tagore). I do it whenever I need inspiration to sing. And I do it often in English, although I have sung his poems in Bengali as well. And I am not a native Bengali speaker.

Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry has the mastery that cannot be understood by pitiful literary analysis. And while I agree with Amit that some people do not understood the greatness of his poetry, I beg to differ with the reason that its because of not understanding Bengali. It is not important to know Bengali to understand Tagore. The beauty of Geetanjali — both the Bengali version and the English version — cannot be understood unless you have been mesmerized by hues of love between the words. You cannot understand what Geetanjali is unless you know how to sing or hear a song. Rabindranath Tagore honed the art of singing for decades as he wrote. I have now been singing for 30 years; now I hear him sing when I read his lines. There is no better bandaid for a bleeding soul than Geetanjali. I feel bad for those who have not been enraptured by Tagore’s sweet voice.

I often give my translation of one of my favorite Tagore poems to people and in my experience it is universally liked.

One Reply to “You need to understand the language of love – Rabindranath Tagore”

  1. he is an inspiration…. living in Bengal i can assure that he have changed many lives and is changing everyday.the stories are timeless and i can still relate to them

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