Rabindranath Tagore

Tagore seems to be known to the West for two things: being the man who translated Kabir into English, and being the most quoted poet in India. But he's much more than that. He translated his own work from Bengali into English for publication, much to the joy of W.B. Yeats:

I have carried the manuscript of these translations about with me for days,
reading it in railway trains, or on the top of omnibuses and in restaurants,
and I have often had to close it lest some stranger would see how much it moved me.

He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913 (the first non-European to do so); he founded a school which became Visva-Bharati University, and worked his entire life to establish a rapport between Eastern and Western thought.

I have had my invitationto this world's festival, and thus my life has been blessed. My eyes have seen and my ears have heard.
It was my part at this feast to play upon my instrument, and I have done all I could.
Now, I ask, has the time come at last when I may go in and see thy face and offer thee my silent salutation?

Gitanjali 13
Gitanjali 20

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