Gitanjali Poem 15 Summary and Analysis

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I am here to sing thee songs. In this hall of thine I have a corner seat.
In thy world I have no work to do; my useless life can only break out in tunes without a purpose.
When the hour strikes for thy silent worship at dark temple of midnight, command me, my master, to stand before thee to sing.
When in the morning air the golden harp is tuned, honour me, commanding my presence.

I am here to sing thee songs. In this hall of thine I have a corner seat. In thy world I have no work to do; my useless life can only break out in tunes without a purpose.
Gitanjali Poem no. 15

Summary

      In this lyric the poet says that his only purpose in life is to sing songs in praise of God. And in God's great hall, this world, the poet occupies a very humble and insignificant position. In God's world, the poet says he has nothing to do and his life is useless, until at these times he can sing but these songs are useless too.

      The poet fervently wishes that when the time for singing would come, God would command him to sing and comes into His presence. Further the poet prays that let God honour him by commanding him into His presence when the new dawn dawns, the golden harp would be tuned in readiness to sing God's glory.

Critical Analysis

      This lyric is about the poet's vocation and how he has nothing to do but sing. Tagore celebrates as well as disparages the poet. In one respect the poet's, vocation is to sing in praise of God. This is his only work and in this he achieved an exalted status, because he thus be comes God's musician. But then Tagore again condemns the poet's life because he has nothing to do and therefore his life is useless and unproductive. He can do no other work. He even condemns his art saying that even his songs which break out from his useless life is without a purpose, his songs would serve no great purpose. Therefore, he wishes that God would bring some purpose into his life by commanding him to sing during the hour of prayer in the temple and then by commanding his presence as the new dawn rose and thus bring a purpose into the poet's life.

"In thy world I have no work to do; my useless life can only break out in tunes without a purpose. When the hour strikes for thy silent worship at the dark temple of midnight, command me, my master, to stand before thee to sing."

      In this mystical poem, the poet is in his real character of singer, but he does not have to wait till death to reach God's audience hall, for here he looks upon the world itself as God's audience hall where he himself has a corner seat.

      The poet maintains that he has no other work in the world to do except to sing songs of praise and worship to God. He therefore dedicates himself to the worship of God at all times. He looks upon the dark world at midnight as God's temple, and requests his Master to command him to sing before him when the hour of God's silent worship arrives. Thus the songs will not actually be uttered by him but offered to God inwardly. The poem emphasises the fact that Tagore's conception of poetry was something sacred and holy.

Annotation

      In this hall of thine: God's world is like a great hall, like a king's court. Corner seat: Tagore's place in this hall is a very insignificant place, a very humble position. Break out in tunes without a purpose: useless songs that the poet sings.

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