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Selected Poems

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  744 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
The poems of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) are among the most haunting and tender in Indian and in world literature, expressing a profound and passionate human yearning. His ceaselessly inventive works deal with such subjects as the interplay between God and the world, the eternal and transient, and with the paradox of an endlessly changing universe that is in tune with ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 31st 2005 by Penguin Classics (first published 1985)
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Jennifer
Sep 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2011-reads, poetry
The problem with reading Tagore is that, if you know anything about the man, it's difficult to raise your face from a prostrated we're-not-worthy position long enough to make sense of what's on the page. The first non-Western winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore was a polymath: painter, poet, political theorist, physicist. This is a dude who chatted it up with Einstein. That's an awful lot of impressed to bring to any reading of verse, particularly one rendered in translation.

From wh
...more
Jee Koh
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
The Play of the Universe

From a deep appreciation of the varied imperfections of earth, Tagore's poems yearn for the single, perfect ineffable. The narrative poems tell the stories of ordinary people, but tell them in such a manner as to evoke that deep yearning, so that the ordinary matter is suffused with immense dignity. The allegorical poems are dream-like and imaginative, at once passive and active. The lyrics are his supreme achievement, to my mind. Ardent, yet harmonious, they map human lo
...more
Dragana
Oct 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Već odavno je Tagore jedan od mojih omiljenih pisaca. Šta je to što ga čini posebnim?
Ne postoji jednostavan odgovor, postoje pokušaji da se dočara lepota i svevremenost njegovih stihova. Posebnom lepotom zrače ljubavni stihovi: nenametljivi, puni poštovanja i obzira prema vrhuncu stvaralačke moći koju je Bog pokazao: ženi. Ali nikako ne treba misliti da je za njega žena apstrakcija, platonska ljubav, biće nedodirljivo, naprotiv. Ona je slika čulnosti ali opisane delikatno, sa poštovanjem, eroti
...more
Simona
Feb 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
poems in the vein or Rumi and Hafiz, subtly political. lyrical.
Shefali
Selected Poems by Rabindranath Tagore
Heidi Burkhart
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It took me over two months to get through this slim volume. Tagore's poetry is beautiful, quite extravagant, and unusual, but very complex. Luckily in this Penguin Classics volume there was an extensive section of notes at the back of the book which was fairly helpful.
Hannah
Jun 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Books of poetry are never really finished. You finish your initial reading, yes, close it for the first time, certainly, but when you return to it, it will meet you as the person you have become since yesterday. Tagore reminded me of this and I know that when I slip this book back on the shelf at home, it will only be a temporary farewell until the time I am ready to read the same words with a different mind. As my time in India draws to a close, only six days remaining, I am glad that I had the ...more
Joseph
May 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Tagore may have been the greatest poet ever. His work was originally done in Bengali and I've read that the poetry is even more beautiful in Bengali than in English. Tagore spent considerable time in England and was born in Calcutta. It was Tagore who first called Gandhi "Mahatma" (Great Soul). Tagore knew too much of sadness. His mom died when he was 14, his wife when he was 43, his sister in law committed suicide, a daughter died a year after his wife and his youngest son died four years after ...more
Chris
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, nobel-prize
Books of poetry are the most difficult rate. Not only are poems more abstract than stories and novels, but they are shorter, so you can fit more of them into a single volume, causing a conflict of interest when comparing higher-quality poems to lesser ones. There's also the problem of translation: poems translated into English are often written better in their original language, which should be no surprise to anyone.

These poems of Tagore were originally written in Bengali. I have no doubt the b
...more
Brian Denton
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was ok
This isn't a bad collection of poetry. I'm happy I read it because there are a few terrific poems like "Flying Man," "Flute-Music," Shah Jahan," and "Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva." For the most part though I didn't feel any real connection with the works. I understand Tagore's importance in world literature so the fault is probably mine, a combination of something being lost in translation and my own near total ignorance of the culture that produced the poetry. Still, I found it worth reading.
Melanie
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm glad I read Gitanjali first, because even though I loved a few of these poems, they wouldn't have inspired me to read more Tagore. There's a lot of cultural knowledge needed to be able to understand most of these.
Val
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-extra
I read one of these poems at my mother's funeral. I don't think she knew anything about Rabindranath Tagore, but I hope she would have appreciated the poem.
Sazuru
Apr 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
The rating is for the translation, not the originals.
Roxana
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Love it!!!!!!
David
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Some interesting imagery and language. This includes many references to Hinduism which I did not understand.
Sohel Chakma
i like very much rabi poem so...........
Vinay Leo R.
3.5Stars
Zivush
Sep 22, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
a truely exceptional poet
Gloria Fransisca Katharina
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
My Grandfather Holiday was a great one :) :)
Mark Heathcote
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great poet, wonderful poems...

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Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."

Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and ess
...more
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“Unending Love

I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times...
In life after life, in age after age, forever.
My spellbound heart has made and remade the necklace of songs,
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age, forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, it's age old pain,
It's ancient tale of being apart or together.
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star, piercing the darkness of time.
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount.
At the heart of time, love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers,
Shared in the same shy sweetness of meeting,
the distressful tears of farewell,
Old love but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you
The love of all man's days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life.
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours -
And the songs of every poet past and forever.”
527 likes
“The singer alone does not make a song,
there has to be someone who hears.

-Broken Song”
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