Gitanjali Poem no. 91 || Summary and Analysis

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O Thou the last fulfilment of life, Death, my death, come and whisper to me!

Day after day have I kept watch for thee; for thee have I borne the joys and pangs of life.

All that I am, that I have, that I hope and all my love have ever flowed towards thee in depth of secrecy. One final glance from thine eyes and my life will be ever thine own.

The flowers have been woven and the garland is ready for the bridegroom. After the 
wedding the bride shall leave her home and meet her lord alone in the solitude of night.

O Thou the last fulfilment of life, Death, my death, come and whisper to me!
Gitanjali Poem no. 91

Summary

      The poem is again a celebration of union with Death. The mood of the poet is changed. Now he is preoccupied with Death which he called the king of the dark chamber. Now the Krishna image slowly changes to a death image. The sexual implications and erotic colours of the earlier passages take a different turn. The poet seems to pass from self surrender to a desired self-annihilation.

      The poet himself invites the all devouring Death. He calls it as the fulfillment of life, the origin of new. For the sake of Death he has experienced the joys as well as sufferings of life. "The life is only a preservation for Death. He discloses his long secret death wish. All that he is now, his hopes, his love is for Death. Now he compares his life to a bride and Death to a bridegroom. The union of bride and bridegroom is an act of consummation and fulfillment. Similarly his life will feel this ecstasy of consumption by the union with Death. It is a last fulfillment of life. The poet, like a bride is eagerly waiting for bridegroom with a flowery garland in his hands. The garland in poets hand is woven by the flowers of his love, hope and joys. He needs, wishes for one final glance of Death on his face as the bride wishes the glance of his bridegroom on her lovely face. The natural phenomenon of Death is converted into an auspicious occasion by the poetic words of Tagore. At the end he wishes to leave his own home to be embraced by death, meet his lord in the solitude of night. Like the newly married bride, who is sent to his bridegroom's house where in the darkness of night the marriage is consummated.

Critical Analysis

      The poet seems to feel that Death is inherent in Nature and therefore lodged within him. Dying into Death here means dying into the deathless. It is an amorous adventure. It is a wedding. Keats was morbidity in love with Death but nowhere did he equate it with marriage like Tagore. God is the bridegroom. The bride will join her cord alone in the dark night of the soul. Death is a kind of wedding. According to modern psychology wedding in a dream forebodes Death and Death fore bodes wedding. As Death is the most intense state, the poet chooses Death as his metaphor in this connection. As Keats said :

Verse, fame, beauty are intense indeed.
But death is intense, Death is life's high meed.

      The soul is thirsty for God. She asks for Him and wants to be held by the bond of love to him that is possible in the loneliness of night. The visiting hours of God's 'servant, the Death.

"All that I am, that I have, that I hope and all my love have ever flowed towards thee in depth of secrecy. One final glance from thine eyes and my life will be ever thine own."

      The theme of death is flowing again. The poet was afraid of death in his early poem but now that fear of death is consumed into the joy of fulfilment of life. He now welcomes death with open heart. Dying into death for him now is dying into the deathless. He represents death in a beautiful image of bridegroom and he is a bride waiting eagerly for his bridegroom and when he will come to him look at him with a glance of love the poet will offer to him all his hopes, all his joys and all his love. A look of disguise death will win him over forever and he will surrender himself totally to his bridegroom 'death'.

      Whole life is only a preparation for death. "Readiness is all". Death is a wedding. Death is an auspicious occasion. An occasion of surrender to totality towards your lover, the Divine.

"The flowers have been woven and the garland is ready for the bridegroom. After the wedding the bride shall leave her home and meet her lord alone in the solitude of night."

      The poet seems to feel that death is inherent in Nature and therefore lodged within him. It is the last fulfilment of life. The soul opens to death like a "a bud in the forest at midnight." The soul giving up its vain struggle would travel on the beautiful path of death into the home of his beloved. Death is an auspicious event that will unite the soul with Supreme. Death is a bridegroom in the above lines and the poet, the bride finds consummation and fulfilment in her union with the bridegroom, the Death. The bride is waiting eagerly for the arrival of bridegroom and when he arrives, he is garlanded with the beautiful flowers of poet's life that have been woven throughout whole life as life is a preparation to death. After the wedding ceremony is over, the bride goes with the bridegroom to his home where in the darkness of night the marriage is consummated. So also he will go with Death, and in Death his life will find its fulfilment.

Annotations

      Whisper: to speak slowly or closely. Pangs: pain Solitude: aloofness.

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