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Rabindranath Tagore

Poet of nature, love and mankind

Published : 12 Nov 2019 05:46 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 09:17 AM

(The concluding part of the article)

The welfare-woman-statue in the poem 'Ratre O Provate’ (At night and in the morning) of “Chitra” had impressed the poet forever. Hence, the poet expressed:

Tumi sokol sohag korechhile, sokhi hasimukolito mukhe,

Kali modhu jaminite jostsna nishite nobin milon sukhe 

(You caress me with love with smiling face. 

We were honeymooned with happy union).

Furthermore, the poet felt his love in “Mohua Kabya” as a noble strength. Love makes men and women unusually strong and courageous. Love comes out victorious in the struggle of life. However, this platonic love does not call for women for bridal chamber or bridal bed for sensual pleasure but this love strengthens spiritual power and encourages overcoming the struggle of life. Love gives self-confidence and boldness. It being encouraged and strong in love, the lady love in 'Sabala’ (Full bloomed young girl) poem of “Mahua Kabya” expressed:

Jabona basor-kokkhe badhu-bese bazaye kinkini

Amare premer birje koro ashonkini.

(I shall not get in the bride chamber

ringing the bangles as the new bride .

Rather make me fearless

with heroic spirit of love.)

Hence, we find and observe that Rabindranath is an expert and pensive poet in the realm of love poetry.

Rabindranath is again a poet of the Bengalis and mankind. In his poetry, the Bengalis and the whole world have become manifest and visible in the unique form, frame and feature of breath-taking and exquisite beauty. His creative literature has surpassed the narrow boundary lines and limits of countries, times and persons and has assumed as a universal form. Therefore, his literary composition is for all mankind of the world.

As no blowing wind of a country can be withstood by a particular boundary, the literary composition of Rabindranath cannot be limited to a specific country or nation. Therefore, the poet said that he had close and spiritual connection with the earth. He became and assumed to be one soul and one body with the earth.

The poet in his poem ‘Bishwa-nrityo’ (World Dance) expressed his desire and willingness to join this lively dance of mankind by breaking the wall of his mind and going beyond the bounds and limit of his poetic imagination. He did not like to be limited only to the Bengali nation but liked to be associated with other nations to have sense of flavour of the worldly life. Hence, the poet expressed his feelings as follows:

Hridoy amor krondon kore

Manab hridoye mishite

Nikhiler sathe moharajpathe

Chalite dibos nishite

(My heart cries out day and night

to join every human heart on the royal road).

The poet avoided insularity of mind and expressed his deep eagerness to be associated with people of the world. The poet in his ‘Balaka Kabya’ found a sense of motion in the nature of world and realized that the people are following the go of the world through death. In the poem 'Bharat-tirtha' of “Gitanjali” he desired to bring mankind under the same rule. He urged to give up meanness, narrowness, provincialism and referred to universality. He wished good to all the people of the world and urged:

Eso hey arjo, eso anarjo, Hindu o Musalman

Eso, eso aj tumi Ingraj, eso, eso Khristan,

Eso Brahmin, suchi kori mon, dhoro hat sabakar

Eso hey, pothik, houkaponito sob apomanbhar

Aji Bharater moha-manober sagartire…

(Come O Aryans, non-Aryans, Hindu and Muslim.

Come, come today 0 the English, come O the Christian,

Come O Brahmin, make your mind pure, have hands in hands of all,

Come O travelers; let the burden of all insults fall.

Today on the sea-coast of the great men in India…)

The poet thinks that because of unbearable heat of human sin, there has started an earthquake on earth in the struggle between the powerful and the hungry people. The weak have been disheartened and feeble because of torture on them by the oppressive. This thinking and idea of the poet left a deep painful impression on the mind. The poet in his poem ‘Prayoschitto’ (Atonement) says: 'The days of the oppressive has come to an end. Peace will come on earth again.' He hopes that welfare of men will be promoted by the struggle of men. The poet waits for that human welfare and peace. Rabindranath is a world famous poet. So he sings:

Amar sonar Bangla ami tomay bhalobasi

(O my Begal of gold, I love you)

To rouse human beings and make them conscious, the poet has more mental pain and agony for their timidity, cowardice and weakness than irony. The poet in his poem 'Deher Unnati (The development of the body)' remarked:

Dur hok ei birambona, bidruper bhag

Sobere chahe bedona dite bedoa bhora pran.

(Let this portion of deprivation and mockery remove

And let that pain overwhelmed the heart go.)

Therefore, he may be called a poet of mankind. 

In conclusion, it may be said that Rabindranath established the status of Bengali literature in the world forum. He has proved himself through his literary composition that he was equally efficient and proficient in showing his genius to be a poet of nature, love and mankind. This prince of poets will live vivid  in the heart of the Bengalis as long as Bengali people and Bengali literature survive. He himself is a vast sea of literature and his created works are like surging waves that give hopes and expectations to the Bengali nation. Rabindranath Tagore was a multifaceted genius – poet, lyricist, composer, essayist, painter, dramatist and actor. He was also a great educationist and established a university with truly world in mind. He also took proactive initiative for rural upliftment and established Sriniketan to help farmers and artisans. Yet, he concerned himself deeply with the human destiny of his country and the world.  He consistently asked the question—what is it that defines a human being? It is not caste, creed, sex, language or country; it is just being born as a member of the human race. To Tagore, all human beings share the same ‘holy’ brand of existence—humanity. Therefore, we find that Rabindranath the chief among poets was a poet of nature, love and mankind.

The writer is a former Joint Secretary to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and regular contributor to Bangladesh Post