Gitanjali Poem No. 18 - Summary and Analysis

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Clouds heap upon clouds and it darkens. Ah, love, why dost thou let me wait outside at the door all alone?

In the busy moments of the noontide work I am with the crowd, but on this dark lonely day it is only for thee that I hope.

If thou showest me not thy face, if thou leavest me wholly aside, I know not how I am to pass these long, rainy hours.

I keep gazing on the far away gloom of the sky, and my heart wanders wailing with the restless wind.

Clouds heap upon clouds and it darkens. Ah, love, why dost thou let me wait outside at the door all alone?
Gitanjali Poem no. 18


      Here, is a continuation of the same theme from the previous poem. However, here, the beloved who was earlier waiting for her lover is un-sure if he will come or not and the mood become gloomy. Tagore says that dark clouds have gathered, one on top of another and the day has darkened. At this he cries out to God as to why He was making his wait at the door thus, alone.

      He says that he was with other people during the day when every body was busy with their work, but night is dark and lonely, he was fervently longing for him and hoping that he would come. And then he says that if God did not show him his face or if He left him alone, then he didn't know how to pass the long, lonely and depressing days of the rainy season. Then the poet expresses how in his longing for God he keeps gazing at the sky which is dark and gloomy and his heart cries as the wind, mingling with the sound of wind.

Critical Analysis

      In continuation from the previous poem the poem is written following the traditional Indian poetry where the poet is the beloved waiting for God, the lover. Here the poet talks of the sadness and gloom because God has tailed to come and they have not been united. At this failure he feels a lot of pain and complains to God like a woman complaining to her lover Tagore compares his wretched plight to that of a beloved standing at the door waiting and feeling scared and lonely as the day was darkening with clouds and it is no longer the busy time of the day with everybody at work. The dark lonely twilight is when the poet longs most desperately for God and he cries like a beloved saying how he is to live, pass the time if God would not show His face and would leave him aside. Tagore is pleading that God should take him into his presence otherwise his life would become a very hard life. The pictures of loneliness and intense longing is intensified in the last line, as Tagore creates the image of a sad, unhappy person looking out into the gloomy sky with a heart crying and waiting as the restless wind. However, a picture of hope is also conveyed in the phrase 'keep gazing', a hope that there may be a possible union. The poem is therefore a beautiful poem especially for the mixing of the secular and religion.

"Ah, love, why dost thou let me wart outside at the door all alone. In the busy moments of noontide work I amn with the crowd, but on this dark lonely day it is only for thee that I hope."

      The lines are taken out from a love lyric but devotional in essence. The beloved feels love lorn and longs for his lover. Here the beloved poet who was busy with the hectic life in the day now in the dark lusts for his divine lover, Almighty to come to him. Tagore accepts that man engrosses in the maya, illusionary world, the day to day business forgets the spiritual presence and now when he is out from that maya, when he is in peace and calm of mind and heart he eagerly waits for Him. His aloofness craves for His divine company.

      He imagines it to be a rainy day going with the tradition of Indian love poetry, he believes that on such days the beloved strongly longs for the company of her lover.


      Noontide work: worldly labour performed during the day. Far-away gloom of the sky: the dark cloudy sky. Waiting: crying, howling.

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