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Feb 24, 2017

Gitanjali: Tagore

Literarism's YouTube link for the fourth  video on the Romantic Nature in the Poetry of Romantic Poets

I know not how thou singest, my master! from Gitanjali
by Bijay Kant Dubey

I know not how thou singest, my master! is the number three song included in Gitanjali carrying on the same bhakti stream of thought and delving with utmost devotion and dedication to the Divine who is  not only the Creator, but the Preserver and the Destroyer.  A poem of three line-breaks, we mean stanzas, it carries on the same thought which it marks Gitanjali, the poem is no variation on it. Barring the sing-song quality, looking back in admiration, there is nothing more in it.

The poet says it that he knows it not how to sing. How to appreciate and admire the Divine; accept His Gifts in utter thankfulness? He just listens to in amazement. The songs he has sung are the songs mundane and mortal, but the Lord-God the Singer Divine, the Singer of singers. The melody of his songs will engulf with mellifluousness.

The light of His Music illumines the whole world and it runs from sky to sky. The holy stream with its pearly waters rushes through the fine and fair works of nature and the wild. Who has made them? Whose creation is this? It is but of God. God has made them.

On hearing the song, he too wants to join in, but how to sing it as he has not got proper words and melodies of it to continue. The speech breaks it not into songs and he feels baffled. Ah, it is His Love which but mesmerizes him, it is His Love which is but entangles him with maya and moha! The bonds of maya are boundless.

‘I know not how thou singest, my master!’ actually is in the form of prayer approaching the divine and that too in appreciation and acknowledgement. The poet too sings the songs, but his songs are not as much those by the Almighty.

The words thou singest and listen in silent amazement add to the poem, the light of thy music illumines, the life breath of thy music runs from sky to sky and the holy stream of thy music breaks are prominent in the second stanza.

The line, Ah, thou hast made my heart captive in the endless meshes of thy music, my master! is central to the understanding of the poem and expresses the philosophy of the poem.

To appreciate Tagore in the absence of Surdas, Kabirdas, Mirabai and other poets of the Bhakti Age of Indian poetry will be injustice to them. The work is in the same lineage and tradition of thought and idea, is no exception to them. Tagore has just moulded them; presented afresh if seen from that angle otherwise these are novel. Classical love poetry has held us over the ages with its mellifluousness and sway. Can we negate Rashkhan and Rahim?

Apart from devotional love poetry, Tagore has got benefited from his reading of English classics and the Holy Bible which one can mark in the use of the vocabulary. The Singer, the Divine Singer and Nature are the cardinal points around which the poem revolves.

I KNOW not how thou singest, my 
master ! I ever listen in silent amaze- 

The light of thy music illumines the 
world. The life breath of thy music 
runs from sky to sky. The holy stream 
of thy music breaks through all stony 
obstacles and rushes on. 

My heart longs to join in thy song, 
but vainly struggles for a voice. I 
would speak, but speech breaks not into 
song, and I cry out baffled. Ah, thou 
hast made my heart captive in the end- 
less meshes of thy music, my master!

Literarism's YouTube link for the fourth  video on the Romantic Nature in the Poetry of Romantic Poets

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