Gitanjali Poem 12 Summary and Analysis

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The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.
I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.
It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself, and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.
The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach the innermost shrine at the end.
My eyes strayed far and wide before I shut them and said "Here art thou!"
The question and the cry "Oh, where?" melt into tears of a thousand streams and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance "I am!"

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long. I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds leaving my track on many a star and planet.
Gitanjali Poem no. 12

Summary

      This lyric treats the theme of a mystical quest for God. But God can be found within oneself. The journey that the poet's soul takes is a long journey He has started out with the first ray of the sun and travelling through various worlds has left impressions on many stars and planets. Then Tagore says that as the musician's creation of a simple harmony is the result of a long, arduous-process, the journey to the most distant place turns out to be that to the place nearest to oneself.

      In order to find His door, the traveller has to knock and check every stranger's door. In order to find the shrine that is within, one must travel to all the outer worlds.

      Tagore says that he has looked everywhere with his eyes until finally he closes his eyes and finds that God is there. Everyone cries and questions 'O' where are you God and this cry melts into the tears of a thousand streams and then finds that God is assurance that He is present everywhere floods the world. God is everything and everywhere.

Critical Analysis

      Tagore in this lyric makes a mystical journey to find God and then finds that God resides within oneself. This is conveyed in a very striking manner. The human soul searching for God is presented in terms of a traveller, voyaging through the universe, starting from the time of creation, with the sun's first dawn, and then various stars and planets. It is a long, arduous journey. Then Tagore rises a beautiful metaphor that of a musician's hard labour to create a simple tune, to show how man labourers hard in search of God only to find that God dwells within himself. Finally, after looking all over the place, searching over God. the poet realizes that God is everywhere. He is Omnipotent.

Annotation

      My journey: journey of the human soul. The chariot of the first gleam of light: the first morning ray. Training... simplicity of a tune: the process that a musician follows is a hard and intricate job through the end result is a tune beautiful in its simplicity. Innermost shrine: the deepest recess of one's heart where God resides. Deluge: flood with.

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