Gitanjali Poem No. 5 - Summary and Analysis

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I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.

Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.

To-day the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.

Now it is time to sit quiet, face to face with thee, and to sing dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.

I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.
Gitanjali Poem no. 5


      In this lyric the poet prays to God, that he be allowed to sit by God's side and thus be granted a moment of quiet and rest, He shall finish the work that he has left, if he could be with God. He says that if he is unable to see God then he becomes restless and his heart loses all peace and rest. At times like this the poet feels that his work is an endless drudgery without any meaning and he is caught in a sea of labour and hard work. The poet feels that summer has arrived because he can hear the soft sounds of the summer in the buzzing of bees at the edge of the groove where flowers have bloomed, in the manner of the kings minstrels singing at his court. This time, the onset of summer is a time to sit quietly, facing God and in the divine peace enveloping all nature sing the praise and glory of God and pledge oneself to the maker.

Critical Analysis

      The lyric here is a prayer to God where the poet wishes to take leave from his day to day work and take respite from it in close communion from God. There is an equation between God and Nature. The poets longing to be near God is due to two reasons, one, the work that he does becomes a hard, endless labour if he stays away from God's sight for too long and, two, summer has come, he can feel the soft and delicate sounds of nature and can have the bees buzzing near the groove that has flowered like kings minstrels and such a time, a time of beautiful, silent leisure, is the time to be with God, to face God and sing of one's pledge of God. Thus, Tagore who always had a close relationship and a great fondness and love for the open countryside believes that man can best devote himself to God in the midst of the beauties of Nature.


      Indulgence: respite from work. Work becomes.. sea of toil: useless and endless drudgery. Plying their minstrelsy: working at singing court of the flowering groove: as minstrels sing at a king's court, so bees sing at the court of the flowering trees. Dedication of life: a solemn and purposeful pledge of life. Overflowing Leisure: an abundance of leisure and happiness.

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