Gitanjali Poem 19 Summary and Analysis

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If thou speakest not I will fill my heart with thy silence and endure it. I will keep still and wait like the night with starry vigil and its head bent low with patience.
The morning will surely come, the darkness will vanish, and thy voice pour down in 
golden streams breaking through the sky.
Then thy words will take wing in songs from every one of my birds' nests, and thy 
melodies will break forth in flowers in all my forest groves.

If thou speakest not I will fill my heart with thy silence and endure it. I will keep still and wait like the night with starry vigil and its head bent low with patience.
Gitanjali Poem no. 19

Summary

      There is a further development of thought from the earlier two poems with Tagore stating that he shall still love God even if God doesn't respond. He says that even if God doesn't speak to him he shall fill his heart if not with his love then with his silence and calmly take the pain not being loved. He shall not waver in his resolve and compares himself waiting for God to the unwavering star lit sky, patiently and humbly waiting for dawn to come. Then he says that as dawn will surely come and with its light disperse the darkness and then God's voice shall stream down into the earth like golden rays breaking through the sky. Then God's word shall burst forth as song from all the elements of Nature of mother earth, from every birth and God's songs and music shall be in all the flowers in the forest.

Critical Analysis

      In this lyric, Tagore again continues the theme of traditional religious poetry with God as lover and he himself taking the role of the beloved. Here, he conveys the idea that even though God doesn't respond to his love, he shall persist in loving Him and he is certain that one day he shall be blessed with God's love and thus rewarded for his patience.

      Here, the poet is the beloved who is determined to persist and even if her lover doesn't speak to her, she shall just take her lover's silence as a sign of his love, and endure the pain of not being united with him for the moment. She shall not be restless but be still and wait with patience as the starry sky does. The poet thus puts himself in the position of such a beloved.

      Then the next two lines expresses his hope and what will happen when God blesses him by talking to him. He is confident that as morning surely comes, so shall God appear and bless the poet with his darshan and then as with down the darkness of the night shall vanish and God's voice shall flood dawn into the world like the sun's golden light streaming down and lightning up the whole world. And then every natural object shall burst forth into song with God's world. Every bird, every colour in every flower shall sing with God's love and talk to the poet, thus, Nature itself shall express God's glory when the right moment comes. The imagery here in this lyric is quite graphic and apart from the mystic quality that permeates it, there is also a pantheistic aspect in connecting Nature, love and God.

"If thou speakest not I will find my heart with thy silence and endure it. I will keep still and wait like the night with starry vigil and its head bent low with patience."

      The lyric has the touch of Vaishnav poetry where the beloved, Radha, the soul eagerly waits her Divine lover, Lord Krishna, the Infinite to come to her, meet her and speak with her. The soul craves for spiritual communion. The poet has prayed to God and waited patiently, but God, his lover has not heeded his prayers. He has not spoken to him, But the poet will endure His silence and continue to wait patiently till He is moved and speaks to him. The poet conveys his feelings through a fresh and graphic image. Just as the night with her starry eyes, and with her head bowed down waits patiently for the light of day, so also he will wait for God, his lover.

"The morning will surely come, the darkness will vanish and thy voice pour down in golden streams breaking through the sky. Then thy words will take wing in songs from every one of my birds' nests, and thy melodies will break forth in flowers in all my forest groves."

      Just as the waiting of the night is rewarded with the dawn of day, so also his patient vigil will be rewarded, and God will speak to him in His golden voice. The poet is sure that the darkness of separation will at last come to an end and the bright beautiful morning of his reunion with his lover will dawn. His voice will one day break forth in sweet songs from the birds, and from the numerous beautiful flowers in full bloom in the forest. In other words, time will come when every object of Nature will express to the poet the greatness and glory of God. But for such a mystic apprehension of the divine a process of patient self discipline and self-purification is essential. The poet is determined to go through this process.

      The love for Nature is clear in these lines, Tagore believes in the affinity between man, God and Nature and he accepts that Nature is an outward manifestation of God. His love, His spiritual affection and messages comes to His son, His creation, the mankind through the manifold ways, through the myriad forms of Nature. The romantic note is flowing in the lines of the above lyric.

Annotation

      Starry vigil: the night sky with stars, waiting for the light of dawn. Head bent low with patience: the sky is low and waits with patience and without recklessness. Thy words songs: God's word shall take the form of songs in everyone's lips.

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