"Its all relative"

Poetry Review #1

So, I have been thinking of starting a series of blogs reviewing some of my favourite poetries of authors all around the world. I thought of starting of this series with my all time favourite and one of the world’s most prominent polymaths, Rabindranath Tagore.

He was the one who revived Bengali literature, music and other artforms by applying contextual modernism through his teachings and works. He was also the first non-European and 1st Indian to win a noble prize in literature in 1913 and has played an important role in the Renaissance of modern India.

 

He has composed around 2000 songs which are popular and are sung widely across the nation and Bengal in particular. He has an unique honour of authoring the national anthems of two countries, Indian National Anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’ and the National Anthem of Bangladesh ‘Amar Shonar Bangla’.

 

Rabindranath Tagore was also known as Gurudev, he was one of the most heroic poets of India when the country was going through a chaotic period during the British rule. Often hailed as “The bard of Bengal” or “The poet of the poets”, Tagore was a person who had expertise in significant numbers of different subject areas. He reshaped Bengali literature, music, as well as Indian art in the twentieth century.

 

 

Today I’m sharing with you one of his poems Titled “On the seashore” 

 

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. 

The infinite sky is motionless overhead and the restless water is boisterous. 

On the seashore of endless worlds the children meet with shouts and dances. 

They build their houses with sand, and they play with empty shells. 

With withered leaves they weave their boats and smilingly float them on the vast deep.  

Children have their play on the seashore of worlds. 

They know not how to swim, they know not how to cast nets. 

Pearl-fishers dive for pearls, merchants sail in their ships, 

while children gather pebbles and scatter them again. 

They seek not for hidden treasures, they know not how to cast nets. 

The sea surges up with laughter, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. 

Death-dealing waves sing meaningless ballads to the children, 

even like a mother while rocking her baby’s cradle. 

The sea plays with children, and pale gleams the smile of the sea-beach. 

On the seashore of endless worlds children meet. 

Tempest roams in the pathless sky, ships are wrecked in the trackless water, death is abroad and children play. 

On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children

On the seashore of endless worlds is the great meeting of children… 

 

Review:

This beautiful poem that features children playing on the limitless seashore is the “60”th poem published in the English translation of Tagore’s Gitanjli (1912). The poem explores the nonchalant and blissfully ignorant ways of the children in facing the perils of the potentially dangerous sea or life itself as opposed to those of adults. The innocence and the lack of the children in understanding the dangers of the world is stressed upon.

 

As I see it, the poem talks about how the perception of the world or of a particular situation differs from person to person. It’s subjective. Our past experiences and knowledge or a complete lack of them colour the way we look at things and how we perceive or react to it. The children are playful and joyous and lack the ability to fear the dangers, as they have never experienced it as the adults have.

 

I feel that the poet wants us to be like a carefree child and in spite of having faced difficulties and hardships, deal with the “endless world” with joy and happiness. Just as the children play with empty shells we as adults are expected to be happy with whatever little that we have and are to cherish it without having hope of finding treasures.

 

I feel that the poem urges us to be a child at heart and be just as happy. It subtly conveys to foster in our hearts the child’s determination and happiness of starting things anew and looking at each new day or a situation with fresh perspective irrespective of earlier mishaps. It talks about the symbolic permanence of dangers and also of the carefree ways of the children as they laugh and play on the seashores of the endless worlds.

 


 

PS: This is my 1st attempt at reviewing a poetry. Do let me know what you think.

 


 

© 2020 Ashwini Nawathe, Kaleidoscope of My Life
All Rights Reserved

Hi, I'm a nature lover, a trekker and an ardent reader from Mumbai, India. After playing Lawyer for a time, I shifted to my passion and love – History! A 9 to 6 job as a Senior Executive: Research, Content Writer and Editor helps me earn by bread and butter which is ultimately spent on travel and food :)

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