Gitanjali Poem No. 48 - Summary and Analysis

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The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs; and the flowers were all merry by the roadside; and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.

We sang no glad songs nor played; we went not to the village for barter; we spoke not a word nor smiled; we lingered not on the way. We quickened our pace more and more as the time sped by.

The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade. Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon. The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan tree, and I laid myself down by the water and stretched my tired limbs on the grass.

My companions laughed at me in scorn; they held their heads high and hurried on; they never looked back nor rested; they vanished in the distant blue haze. They crossed many meadows and hills, and passed through strange, far-away countries. All honour to you, heroic host of the interminable path! Mockery and reproach pricked me to rise, but found no response in me. I gave myself up for lost in the depth of a glad humiliation - in the shadow of a dim delight.

The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom slowly spread over my heart. I forgot for what I had travelled, and I surrendered my mind without struggle to the maze of shadows and songs.

At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes, I saw thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile. How I had feared that the path was long and wearisome, and the struggle to reach thee was hard!

The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs; and the flowers were all merry by the roadside; and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.
Gitanjali Poem no. 48


      The main idea of the poet in the poem lies in one line that is the Almighty, Omnipotent God resides in Nature. The love for Nature brings you near to His heavenly glory. The life of human is too busy. Everyone is dominated by his aim. Some want to earn money and hence are busy with their hectic schedule. Some are busy with secular pleasures and some are searching for spiritual pleasures. The ambitions of man diverts him from the beauty of Nature. They ignore the beautiful morning, the melodious songs of birds, the colourful, merry flowers by the roadside.

      The poet says, his friends are too busy with their aim that they pay no heed to the aesthetic beauty of golden sun; they neglect the scattered gold through the rift of the clouds. They are moving forward in search of God, ignorant of His presence in the Nature, itself. They are in oblivion, moving fast to meet Him neglecting Nature, which is an expression of the beauty and glory of the divine. The poet and his friends are moving. They are very serious about their search. They don't want to waste their time in the glad songs, they don't want to move to the rustic life.

      The poet and his friends don't want to relax, they don't want to waste a single moment in secular pleasures or in admiring the innocent beauty of the Nature and they quickened their pace more and, more, as the time spent out. The heat is increasing, the sun is in his full mood. The birds are taking shelter in their nest. The hot air is blowing and with it dancing the withered leaves. The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the soothing shade of banyan tree. Seeing them, the poet himself wants to relax and stretch his limbs but his friends aren't bit interested they are looking forward to move. The poet lies down in the shade but his friends look him with scorn and mocks at him they held their head high in disdain and move away. The poet feels humiliated by their mocked eyes but he ignores and still feels happy at his decision. He admires their steadfast nature and courage and lies down in shadow of delight and soon his friends are vanished in the meadows and hills.

      The beautiful, calm dark green place soon dominates his heart. He soon forgets the purpose of his voyage and soon surrenders himself to soothing songs and shadows. The sweet slumber overpowers him and when he wakes up he sees his destination, the Almighty, our creator besides him. The light of His smile flooded his soul. He used to fear that the path to His heavenly abode is too long, hard and wearisome but now He is beside him without any effort.

Critical Analysis

      This poem of Tagore is a reflection of reality. He has depicted tha rustic life and beauty of Nature. The blend of this individuality and of general human interest is an essential feature of his poetry. This poem in the form of a parable conveys a moral. Poet, with his friends starts a voyage to meet God. They are so overpowered by the subject of their aim that they forget about the destination. The essence of their search lies beside them, in the Nature, in its beauty, in its innocence and glory. They ignore all this, taking all these secular pleasures as a barrier in spiritual destination. They don't know that Nature is the outward manifestation of God. Nature is an embodiment of certain aspects of God infact a fragment of God.

      They denied the fact that the creator has created these things and He is there in all His creation. The poet feels Him in the chirping of birds, merry flowers and in the scattered light of golden sun but his friends are ignorant of this fact. The asceticism of his friends has renounced the worldly life in order to attain the spiritual bliss. But poet accepts that God is everywhere in His creation and if you surrender yourself to His creation you will feel His presence beside you.

      The style and diction of Tagore's writing is really laudable. He pens down his spontaneous thoughts in a very simple way. Simplicity and effectiveness of diction is beyond question. There is no uncommon grandiose word in his poetry. He writes in an unique and un-parallel style and his versification is also simple and remarkable.


      Ripples: small streams, here used for series of sound. Barter: trade carried on through the exchange of commodities. Here symbolises the activities of rustic or secular life. Lingered: stopped. Repose: relaxation. Maze: confusing paths. Wearisome: tiresome.

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