Gitanjali Poem 24 Summary and Analysis

Also Read

If the day is done, if birds sing no more, if the wind has flagged tired, then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.
From the traveller, whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended, whose garment is torn and dust-laden, whose strength is exhausted, remove shame and poverty, and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.

If the day is done, if birds sing no more, if the wind has flagged tired, then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me, even as thou hast wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.
Gitanjali Poem no. 24

Summary

      The poet in this lyric talks about death and how it implies a new life, a new beginning instead of an end. The poet here is pleading to God for death. He says, since the day has ended and all his worldly chores finished and completed, since the birds have stopped singing and even the wind has slowed down. Please draw the veil of darkness. The poet is asking God to put an end to his life like he has put the earth to sleep by covering it up in a coverlet of sleep and like He tenderly, softly covers up the petals of a blooming lotus when night descends.

      The poet then compares himself to a traveller, whose bag of provisions has become empty, whose clothes are torn and dusty and who is tired and exhausted and pleads to God to give him the gift of death and thus save him from shame and poverty and bring fresh life as to a flower who blooms again the next day having been blessed with life the previous night.

Critical Analysis

      In this poem Tagore expresses his belief that there is life after death and that death is necessary in order to complete the cycle of man's spiritual fulfillment. Death is something to be welcomed, something to be longed for earnestly rather than something to be feared or abhorred. The poet longs for God's command for death and he prays to Him that since all his chores are done and the birds sing no more and everything has slowed down God grant him death. He is prepared to die whenever God wills him to because he knows that it will not be a painful thing but a lovely thing which will touch him softly, tenderly. Then Tagore expresses that Death is not permanent, it is only a renewal of the body and its outer garments. He compares the breathing of new life to that of a traveller whose clothes are torn and dusty, whose provisions are empty and who is tired and devoid of strength is given new clothes, new provisions and new strength. Death means that the physical body shall be renewed while the soul, the spirit shall be the same as before. 'Tagore also compares the coming of new life to a flower blooming anew in the morning after it has rested on night. Thus Tagore expresses his philosophy of life and death through beautiful imagery also we see the flower imagery again.

"From the traveller, whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended whose garment is torn and dust laden, whose strength is exhausted, remove shame and poverty, and renew his life like a flow under the cover of thy kindly night."

      The poet compares himself to a tired traveller whose dress is torn and dirty, whose store of provisions has been emptied, whose strength is exhausted, and so he can travel no more. He prays to God to come to his rescue, to save him from shame and poverty and renew his strength. Just as He envelops the objects of Nature with darkness and sleep, so He should also envelop him with the darkness of death. Through Death he would be reborn and his energies would be renewed, just as a flower fades and dies is reborn again in all its glory. The poet welcomes Death and prays for it, for it means rebirth and renewal of one's powers.

      The poet believes in rebirth rather than the concept of 'mukti'. He believes in communion, closeness of God. He craves for His ecstatic presence, rather than the oneness and Union with Him which is possible only after death and he wishes for rebirth because, birth would again bring him under His mighty love and glorious presence.

Annotation

      In the day is done: if all worldly matters and chores have come to an end. Flagged: lessened in speed. Wrapt the earth with the coverlet of sleep: night, darkness.

Post a Comment

If you have any doubts, let me know

Previous Post Next Post

Search Your Question Here