Gitanjali Poem No. 83 - Summary and Analysis

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Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my tears of sorrow.

The stars have wrought their anklets of light to deck thy feet, but mine will hang upon thy breast.

Wealth and fame come from thee and it is for thee to give or to withhold them. But this my sorrow is absolutely mine own, and when I bring it to thee as my offering thou rewardest me with thy grace.

Mother, I shall weave a chain of pearls for thy neck with my tears of sorrow.
Gitanjali Poem no. 83


      The poem suggests that suffering and repentance is the source of soul's purification and salvation. The poet pleas to God as his beloved mother and requests to adorn her neck with the white and pure pearls of his tears of sorrow. The poet feels to repent in front of his God for his sins. He says that the God is embellished with the heavenly glory, the light of stars deck Him but they illuminate his beloved mother's feet while chain of his tears and repentance are more shiny because of the penitence. He is sure that his mother, the Almighty will wear it as a garland for her neck.

      God is happy if his son feels sorry and repents for his sin. The offerings of worldly wealth and fame are not so dear and valued by God. He himself is the possessor of this wealth, if He wishes He gives it to the man otherwise He keeps hold of it. The real wealth that can be offered to him is the tears of a suffering soul. Suffering purifies the soul and the offering of such pure soul brings grace to the humans.

Critical Analysis

      The poet prays to the God, the Mother, the Creator with tears of repentance, he weaves a garland for her neck. Mother will always be pleased with the son's repentance of his mistakes and she will ask for nothing more. Once man is penitent God's grace will automatically come to him.

      The tone of Eliot's Ash Wednesday is very much the same: "Blessed sister, holy mother, spirit of the fountain, spirit of the garden". He calls the divine spirit as his mother as Tagore does, and prays her "Suffer me not to be separated And let my cry come unto thee".


      Wrought: fashioned, made Anklets: the ornament worn around the ankles. Deck: decorate. Withhold: keep back Grace: kindness.

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