The Fugitive

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Cosimo, Inc., Sep 1, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 204 pages
Rabindranath Tagore was born to a Brahmin family in Calcutta and through his writings became the literary voice of India. He developed a following for his work in Bengali, but he became a worldwide sensation after the English translation of his poem Gitanjali caught the attention of W.B. Yeats. He toured the world and became known for his spiritual and artistic presence and global views that bridged the East and West. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, the first non-Western writer to achieve such an honor. In addition to poetry, Tagore also wrote short stories, plays, novels, and essays, and many of his paintings hang in museums. He also founded a school, Visva Bharati, which combined Hindu and Western influences. Tagore loved music, and two of his songs became the national anthems for India and Bangladesh. The Fugitive is one example of his artistic powers: We came hither together, friend, and now at the cross-roads I stop to bid you farewell. Your path is wide and straight before you, but my call comes up by ways from the unknown. I shall follow wind and cloud; I shall follow the stars to where day breaks behind the hills; I shall follow lovers who, as they walk, twine their days into a wreath on a single thread of song, "I love."
 

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Contents

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Page 5 - IT WAS GROWING dark when I asked her, 'What strange land have I come to?' She only lowered her eyes, and the water gurgled in the throat of her jar, as she walked away. The trees hang vaguely over the bank, and the land appears as though it already belonged to the past. The water is dumb, the bamboos are darkly still, a wrisdet tinkles against the water-jar from down the lane.
Page 3 - DARKLY you sweep on, Eternal Fugitive, round whose bodiless rush stagnant space frets into eddying bubbles of light. Is your heart lost to the Lover calling you across his immeasurable loneliness? Is the aching urgency of your haste the sole reason why your tangled tresses break into stormy riot and pearls of fire roll along your path as from a broken necklace? Your fleeting steps kiss the dust of this world into sweetness, sweeping aside all waste; the storm centred with your dancing limbs shakes...

About the author (2005)

Rabindranath Tagore was born on May 7, 1861 in Calcutta, India. He attended University College, at London for one year before being called back to India by his father in 1880. During the first 51 years of his life, he achieved some success in the Calcutta area of India with his many stories, songs, and plays. His short stories were published monthly in a friend's magazine and he played the lead role in a few of the public performances of his plays. While returning to England in 1912, he began translating his latest selections of poems, Gitanjali, into English. It was published in September 1912 in a limited edition by the India Society in London. In 1913, he received the Nobel Prize for literature. He was the first non-westerner to receive the honor. In 1915, he was knighted by King George V, but Tagore renounced his knighthood in 1919 following the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by British troops. He primarily worked in Bengali, but after his success with Gitanjali, he translated many of his other works into English. He wrote over one thousand poems; eight volumes of short stories; almost two dozen plays and play-lets; eight novels; and many books and essays on philosophy, religion, education and social topics. He also composed more than two thousand songs, both the music and lyrics. Two of them became the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. He died on August 7, 1941 at the age of 80.

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