Gitanjali Poem no. 58 || Summary and Analysis

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Let all the strains of joy mingle in my last song - the joy that makes the earth flow over in the riotous excess of the grass, the joy that sets the twin brothers, life and death, dancing over the wide world, the joy that sweeps in with the tempest, shaking and waking all life with laughter, the joy that sits still with its tears on the open red lotus of pain, and the joy that throws everything it has upon the dust, and knows not a word.

Let all the strains of joy mingle in my last song - the joy that makes the earth flow over in the riotous excess of the grass, the joy that sets the twin brothers, life and death, dancing over the wide world, the joy that sweeps in with the tempest, shaking and waking all life with laughter, the joy that sits still with its tears on the open red lotus of pain, and the joy that throws everything it has upon the dust, and knows not a word.
Gitanjali Poem no. 58

Summary

      This is Tagore's uniqueness that throughout his whole writing he is in a mood of joy. Even if there is a slight sorrow he finds out joy out of that pain. This is what he is appealing in this poem. He wants his last song that he could sing to be full of all joy, even the joy that is born of pain. The joy is all over on the earth and it is flourishing in the form of grass everywhere. The green grass is a symbol of vegetation, rejuvenation, vitality, beauty, birth and joy. He wants to include this joy of vitality to be there in his song. He appeals the joy of creation and destruction, life and death to be there with his joy. The joy of creation is obviously heart rendering but joy of death is also wonderful. For Tagore death is not a negation of life, but it is the gateway through which life constantly renews itself. God enjoys the creation, similarly He enjoys the death and His joy is the universal joy. He is wishing this universal joy to be mingled with his joy in his song.

      The tempest, which symbolizes the violence, in itself has a joy. It uproots and shakes the earth but dies so joyfully. The open red lotus weeps with pain. But it's tears are the tears of joy. The poet appeals this violent and painful joy to share his poetic joy. The joy of destruction which through everything to dust is again invoked to be there in his last song.

Critical Analysis

      The poet is finding out joy out of everything. The grass, life and death, tempest, red lotus and dust, all are the creation of God, the Almighty. Tagore finds happiness in His creation. God Himself has created the world with mirth so how man can't be happy with this universal joy. He invokes the joy of creation and destruction to accompany his joy in his last song.

      Tagore has depicted the death and destruction in a fabulous mode. He is presenting both with a positive attitude. He feels that sorrow enables a man to view the beauty of Nature in a more correct perceptive. He realizes that death is a fulfilment and completion of life, that in death and destruction nothing is lost, and that it is a channel through which life ceaselessly flows and renews itself. So he is requesting all modes of joy to help him to sing a joyful song in praise of his creator of all joys.

Annotations

      Strains: notes. Riotous: profuse, in plenty. Twin brothers: here refers to death and life. Sits still with.. lotus of pain: The poet imagines joy to be sitting quietly, with tears in its eyes, on the red lotus of pain. The poet is accepting pain as the source of upcoming joy.

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