Gitanjali- A Poet's Prayer
There is a distinct spiritual flavour to the verses of Gitanjali. Going through them, anyone is capable of getting transported into -what in poetic idiom is often referred to as- a ‘poetic heaven’. As Yeats too had expressed, in his introduction to the Gitanjali, the verses depict a poetic world which can only be dreamt of by most of us. There is an other-worldly feel to it. These words can only be uttered by a person who has transcended the physical world to explore what lies beyond it. But isn’t that what every poet wishes to achieve? Gitanjali is labeled as ‘religious’ poetry by critics; but to Tagore these verses were just poetry and it is these classic poetic qualities of Gitanjali that is dealt with presently.
Even a lay reader with no feel for poetry will be able to recognise how these verses though framed in the simplest of vocabulary, manage to articulate thoughts and feelings of the highest order. To comprehend them may not be possible for all. Such is the talent of Tagore and such his inspiration. In Gitanjali, I see a poet’s gratitude finding expression. Every single utterance of the poet is soaked in this gratitude felt towards that Supreme Being without whose will, a poet would never have been born. The very fact that God has appointed him to accomplish a poet’s task is elevating. And when the recesses of a poet’s mind, impregnated with divine feelings, reach the state of maturity, it is but a moment’s labour for a poem to be born through the channel of language.
To a true poet, every poem comes as a blessing granted after numerous prayers have been offered at the altar of the Supreme Being. Gitanjali is an embodiment of these several prayers that the poet has offered at the feet of the divine giver of inspiration. While praying, we do not always plead for something, sometimes we praise our God and sometimes we just share our sorrows and joys as if talking to a friend....