Selected Poems

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Penguin, 1994 - Bengali poetry - 208 pages
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Acclaimed by Forster and Pound, for Yeats the poet whose poetry 'stirred my blood as nothing has for years', Tagore was and remains India's greatest writer this century. Prolific and innovatory as a poet, novelist, dramatist, musician and painter, he was also a leading figure in the Nationalist movement, an intimate of Gandhi, a vastly influential educationalist and philosopher and a luminary in world culture. William Radice's selections and translations from the Bengali reintroduce Tagore to a new generation of Western readers.

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Selected poems

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This collection offers a wide array of Tagore's poems from 1882 to 1941, plus textual notes and other scholarly extras. Read full review

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About the author (1994)

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.

William Radiceis a Senior Lecturer in Bengali ath the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

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