Gitanjali Poem No. 74 - Summary and Analysis

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The day is no more, the shadow is upon the earth. It is time that I go to the stream to fill my pitcher.

The evening air is eager with the sad music of the water. Ah, it calls me out into the dusk. In the lonely lane there is no passer by, the wind is up, the ripples are rampant in the river.

I know not if I shall come back home. I know not whom I shall chance to meet. There at 
the fording in the little boat the unknown man plays upon his lute.

The day is no more, the shadow is upon the earth. It is time that I go to the stream to fill my pitcher.
Gitanjali Poem no. 74


      The lyric is a song of poet's desire to meet his Lord and he feels if the guide in him is leading him towards the fulfilment of its innermost meaning. The shadow of evening is falling upon the earth and the air seems to be full of sad music. It looks as if it is inviting the poet to meet his beloved in the dim light of the evening.

      The poet in the guise of a woman gets out to the stream to fill her pitcher. The lane is desolate and the murmur of water is calling him. The women or the poet isn't sure whether she will return home, whom she will meet. She hears the rejoicing music of a stranger who is playing upon his lute. The poet feels if someone is inspiring him to meet someone outside in the evening. He calls this guiding, inspiring spirit as his Jeevan Devta, the Lord of his life, a part of poet's self who is joyfully leading him through all its obstacles, antagonism and erookedness, towards the fulfilment of its innermost spirit. That is why besides all obstacles like the desolate evening and deserted lane and confusion of returning back to home and unsure meeting with the stranger, the woman is urged to go out and she at last hears the sweet music of her Lord.

Critical Analysis

      The poet is drawn into the unknown to seek the fulfilment in his life as the woman goes to a stream to whom the river, evening air, ripples in the water and the melody of the flute is irresistible. The imagery is allusive to the Krishna legend. The images of river, the pitcher, the flute all are symbolic to the Krishna-Gopi scene. The lonely lane and the ripples rampant give erotic touches and suggest the tumult in the heart of the maiden. The image of evening is very beautiful.


      Ripples: Small waves. Rampant: Rising. Fording: Crossing, here refers to (ghat) bank of stream.

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