Gitanjali Poem 14 Summary and Analysis

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My desires are many and my cry is pitiful, but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals; and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.
Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple, great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked - this sky and the light, this body and the life and the mind - saving me from perils of overmuch desire.
There are times when I languidly linger and times when I awaken and hurry in search of my goal; but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.
Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance by refusing me ever and anon, saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.

My desires are many and my cry is pitiful, but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals; and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.
Gitanjali Poem no. 14

Summary

      In this lyric, the idea conveyed is how God by not granting his wishes, rather has shown his merey. Tagore says he has many desires and he cries pitifully to God for their fulfillment. But then by not granting his wishes, God has saved him from these desires and now God's strong mercy has become an integral part of his life.

      Then the poet says that God has also granted him many gifts though he has not asked for them and God is slowly making him worthy of His gifts. These gifts include the sky and the light, his human body an mind and the spirit of life. Through these simple gifts God has saved him, from the dangers that a man is prey to, due to the vice of desiring too much.

      The poet says that sometimes in his search for God he hurries and is quite inspired and sometimes he lingers idly and lazily. But his goal, to reach God is never fulfilled because God has hidden Himself from the poet's sight and he finds that in this God is being cruel.

      Then Tagore again re-emphasises his point saying that God by refusing to grant his wishes every now and then and thus strengthening him is making him worthy of receiving God's full acceptance. God does so slowly day by day in the process saves the poet from the dangers man can fall into due to his weak and uncertain desires.

Critical Analysis

      This lyric talks about desire and man's state when God refuses to grant his desires. It is quite natural that man would pray and pray that God grant all his wishes, carvings and desires. But God knows what is good for man and though He could have easily granted his wish, He refuses and in refusing is rather being merciful than being cruel. Man may consider God's act as an act of unkindness but it is not. God is rather making him strong and teaching him how to attain purification from this worldly desires. Thus, man makes himself worthier for God's many gifts that are lying scattered around the universe. These gifts are given to man without their being asked for and God wills that man shall reach his goal, to find union with God in a similar way. For this reason God refuses his wishes and doesn't grant fulfillment of his desires so that man may be stronger and look for God more earnestly.

Annotation

      Hard refusals: God's firm refusal that the poet found difficult to bear. Wrought into my life through and through: become an essential part and parcel of God's life. Perils of over much desire: the dangers that may befall man due to desiring too much. Languidly: idly, lazily. Ever and anon: once in every while.

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