Although Swamiji's poems are written in simple Sanskrit, Bengali and English languages, in some cases it is not easy to comprehend their meanings correctly. The reason behind this may be that Swamiji penned those after being elevated to a very high state of mind. Swami Suparnanandaji painstakingly analysed the poems of Swamiji and wrote a book in Bengali (Swami Vivekanander Kavitasamagra) which was published in 2014. The book was well received. Since then Suparnanandaji was engaged in bringing out an English version of the book. I am glad to learn that he has now completed the translation work and the book titled Poems of Swami Vivekananda is ready for release.
Swami Vivekananda was an ardent admirer of poetry. He asserted, "[The ancient Indian philosophers] were of a poetic nature. They go crazy over poetry. ...In the old Upanishads we find sublime poetry; their authors were poets.
His poems, in spite of their smallness in bulk, are significant precisely on account of the amount of light they shed on the rich inner life of this great monk and his capacity for giving artistic expression to his noble thoughts. They resonate with the sensibility of a mind deeply troubled by the sufferings of human-beings, caught up in the welter of error and misdeeds. They reveal the bed-rock of emotions on which was founded his philosophy of love and service.
Sublimity is the echo of a noble mind' wrote Longinus in his ancient treatise, On the Sublime. He differed from other early theorists of poetry in his emphasis on the innate quality of a poet as distinct from the inherent power of a verbal artefact. While the sublimity of Swamiji's poetry does emanate from his character, it owes almost little or nothing to the quality of his poetic craftsmanship. Unlike other poets, he makes little conscious effort to either please or impress his readers by his poetic skill, although it was not entirely beyond his powers, as he was content merely to record his emotions, thoughts and visions. His transcendental vision of the cosmic play of the forces of life and death is too far above and beyond human mind to be captured in words. His poetry, therefore, is in a class apart and makes greater demands on the reader's power of comprehension than most other poems of world literature. Even in poems written in a lighter vein one finds at work a mind attuned to noble thoughts. As a matter of fact, his poetry belongs with the soulful utterances of the rishis of ancient India, the poetic quality of which is beyond all doubt. The Upanishads apply the title of a poet to God and to the knower of Truth: Kobirmonishih Poribhuh Swayambhuh. Like the great seers who preceded him-Sankaracarya, Sri Chaitanya and Sri Ramakrishna-Swamiji was a poet in that exalted sense of the word. As he did not have time to hone his poetic skill, it may be said that poetry chose him as its medium to articulate supreme visions of human life and beyond and not vice versa.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend