Gitanjali Poem no. 78 || Summary and Analysis

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When the creation was new and all the stars shone in their first splendour, the gods held their assembly in the sky and sang "Oh, the picture of perfection! The joy unalloyed!"

But one cried of a sudden - "It seems that somewhere there is a break in the chain of light and one of the stars has been lost."

The golden string of their harp snapped, their song stopped, and they cried in dismay - "Yes, that lost star was the best, she was the glory of all heavens!"

From that day the search is unceasing for her, and the cry goes on from one to the other that in her the world has lost its one joy!

Only in the deepest silence of night the stars smile and whisper among themselves - "Vain is this seeking! Unbroken perfection is over all!"

When the creation was new and all the stars shone in their first splendour, the gods held their assembly in the sky and sang "Oh, the picture of perfection! The joy unalloyed!"
Gitanjali Poem no. 78

Summary

      The poem is a poetic narrative. The beautiful interesting myth makes it more alluring. The regret for loss is useless and the world in itself is a perfection, suggests the poet. The perfection in creation made all the gods full of joy. The stars shone in their splendour and they (gods) arranged an assembly in the heaven. They expressed this wonder at the beauty of newly created universe. But one of them detected the imperfection and cried in dismay for what they had lost. The lost star broke the chain of light. The lost star, they think was the best one. The atmosphere of joy ceased and the rejoicing soon was stopped. Then there was a ceaseless search for the missing star but to no avail. But in the deepest silence of the night the stars know that unbroken perfection is overall and search for what is not there is vain seeking. They realise that "unbroken perfection" is there over all God's creation. The imperfections that we feel are the result of our narrowness of vision.

Critical Analysis

      This mythopoeic imagination of Tagore is another fascinating characteristic of Tagore, where he used small and interesting myths to enhance the human interest. The poet criticizes the attitude of those who find fault with the world in some or other way. These people do not overlook certain losses and gains that affect everyone. They look "before and after and pine for what is not." But in reality unbroken perfection is over all the creation. It is useless to think that what has been lost, or what is lacking, is more beautiful and valuable than what exists. One should rather make the best of what is available than indulge in a vain regret and search for that which is not there.

"The golden string of their harp snapped, their song stopped, and they cried in dismay - yes, that lost star was the best, she was the glory all heaven!"

      The poem sings the song of optimism. The poet tells about a myth in which the gods are mourning at the loss of a beautiful star who was the best in the chain of stars in the sky. The music of harmony soon turns to sorrow, dismay and pessimism. Tagores underlying message is God's creation is perfect. There is nothing like imperfection. This is all due to our ignorance and loss of courage. The poet criticizes the attitude of those who find fault with the world in some way or other. These people like the mournful gods of this poetic narrative look "before and after and pine for what is not." But the reality is that everything is perfect in itself, best and complete. The unbroken perfection is everywhere, so always live with optimism, joy of pasitive, hope and happiness.

Annotations

      Splendour: magnificence, brightness. Unalloyed: unmixed, pure. Harp: musical instrument. Snapped: broke suddenly. Dismay: great disappointment. Unceasing: continuous. Vain: useless.

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