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Described by Rabindranath Tagore as revelations of my true self , the poems and songs of Gitanjali established the writer s literary talent worldwide. They include eloquent sonnets such as the famous Where the mind is without fear , and poems that are intense explorations of love, faith and nature, and tender evocations of childhood.
William Radice s new translation renders with beauty and precision the poetic rhythm and intensity of the Bengali originals. In his arrangement of Tagore s original sequence of poems alongside his translations, Radice restores to Gitanjali the structure, style and conception that were hidden by W.B. Yeats s edition of 1912, making this book a magnificent addition to the Tagore library.
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Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861. He was the fourteenth child of Debendranath Tagore, head of the Brahmo Samaj. The family house at Jorasanko was a hive of cultural and intellectual activity and Tagore started writing at an early age. In the 1890s he lived in rural East Bengal, managing family estates. He was involved in the Swadeshi campaign against the British in the early 1900s. In 1912 he travelled to England with Gitanjali, a collection of English poems, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Tagore was knighted in 1915, an honour he repudiated in 1919 after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. In the 1920s and 1930s he lectured extensively in America, Europe, the Far East and Middle East. Proceeds from these and from his Western publications went to Visva-Bharati, his school and university at Santiniketan. Tagore was a prolific writer; his works include poems, novels, plays, short stories, essays and songs. Late in his life Tagore took up painting, exhibiting in Moscow, Berlin, Paris, London and New York. He died in 1941.
William Radice is a poet and a scholar and translator of Bengali. He is well known for his translations of the poems, stories and plays of Tagore. He has recently translated The Poem of the Killing of Meghn d by Michael Madhusudan Dutt and a collection of Tagore s brief poems, The Jewel That Is Best, both for Penguin India
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