Gitanjali Poem no. 2 || Summary and Analysis

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When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.

All that is harsh and dissonant in my life melts into one sweet harmony - and my adoration spreads wings like a glad bird on its flight across the sea.

I know thou takest pleasure in my singing. I know that only as a singer I come before thy presence.

I touch by the edge of the far spreading wing of my song thy feet which I could never aspire to reach.

Drunk with the joy of singing I forget myself and call thee friend who art my lord.

When thou commandest me to sing it seems that my heart would break with pride; and I look to thy face, and tears come to my eyes.
Gitanjali Poem no. 2

Summary

      The poet says that he is inspired by God to write poetry and to sing it. This makes the poet very happy, he feels as if his heart would break, as it is full of pride that God had inspired him. He then looks towards God and re sheds fears of joy and happiness. This results in dispersing all the discordant and harsh elements in the poet's life and it is replaced by one sweet, melodious harmony. The poet's love for God swells and soars like a bird soaring over the sea. The poet knows and understands that God is pleased by his songs and only as a singer can he come into God's presence. His song reaches far and wide but he himself could never reach God, he can only hope to touch God's feet by the edge of his far reaching song. The joy of singing fills the poet with the ecstasy that makes him drunk and forget himself and forgetting that he is a mere servant begins to call God his master, his friend.

Critical Analysis

      In this poem, Tagore claims that God is the inspiration behind his songs. He is a poet only because of divine command. It is as though God has chosen him and this fills his heart with such pride that it seems it would break. Tagore experiences a mystic joy in this revelation and his life becomes one of harmony and sweet melody. All harshness and dissonance have disappeared from it. The divine inspiration he receives fires him to transcend mortal bounds and, with his poetry which so pleases God he can touch God. The implication here is that poetry in itself is a lofty calling. The poet, as a man is unworthy and can never aspire nor ever come into God's presence but with his poetry he can touch God. His song therefore is greater and worthier. From one point of view this can be read as Tagore offering and placing his songs at God's feet. Filled with the ecstasy of singing, he becomes drunk. He makes poetry a powerful thing. The joy of singing makes the poet forget his unworthiness. The uplifting quality of poetry is implied. Especially in the last line where Tagore says that because of poetry and its power he is able to call God his master, his friend. Tagore thus pays a glowing tribute to the power and beauty of divinely inspired poetry, placing himself at a grate ful and humble position all the while.

Annotations:

      Look to thy face: The poet is filled with immense pride that God has commanded him to sing, inspired him to poetry and looking at God, sheds tear of joy and gratitude.

      All that is harsh... across the sea: With God's divine inspiration to sing, everything negative, harsh, unmelodious and dissonant give way to harmony and pleasing music. And the poets love and adoration for God grows into an infinite love, crossing the infinite between man and God.

      I touch aspire to reach: The poet lays his work, his poetry, on God's feet. And this is his only means of reaching and touching God.

      Drunk with the joy.. lord: Music and the blessing of divine inspiration fills his heart with such boundless joy that he begins to look upon God more as a friend than his lord and master.

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