Saturday, June 9, 2012

What Rabindranath Tagore Says About A Poet

     Rabindranath Tagore:

     ". . . Once, while passing under a bridge, the mast of my boat got stuck in one of its girders.  If only for a moment the mast would have bent an inch or two, or the bridge raised its back like a yawning cat, or the river given in, it would have been all right with me.  But they took no notice of my helplessness.  That is the very reason why I could make use of the river, and sail upon it with the help of the mast, and that is why, when its current was inconvenient, I could rely upon the bridge.  Things are what they are, and we have to know them if we would deal with them, and knowledge of them is possible because our wish is not their law.  This knowledge is a joy to us, for the knowledge is one of the channels of our relation with the things outside us; it is making them our own, and thus widening the limit of our self.

     "At every step we have to take into account others than ourselves.  For only in death are we alone.  A poet is a true poet when he can make his personal idea joyful to all men, which he could not do if he had not a medium common to all his audience.  This common language has its own law which the poet must discover and follow, by doing which he becomes true and attains poetic immortality."

     -- Rabindranath Tagore

     I thought that Justin might enjoy reading this.

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     This is excerpted from "The Problem Of Evil," by Rabindranath Tagore, found on pp. 109-121 of Victor Gollancz' anthology, Man and God, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1951.

     Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali, received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.  You can read a little about him here.

     You may also be interested in knowing a little about Victor Gollancz.   Here is some information about him.

1 comment:

  1. Wow.

    He sees and describes specifically the complex relationship between human helplessness, human skill, and forces that do not react to our will or emotions.

    "At every step we take into account others than ourselves."

    Jesus is the Poet of poets.

    Also, he is the Language.

    Perhaps in his death Tagore learned the rightful name of the Language he loved.