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Rabindranath Tagore (Selected Poems and Songs)

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Item Code: NAN620
Author: Kshitis Roy and K. G. Subramanyan
Publisher: Thema Books, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 2012
ISBN: 9789381703090
Pages: 298
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.5 Inch X 5.5 Inch
Weight 530 gm
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Book Description
About the author

When Kshitis Roy (1911-95) joined Visva- Bharati at Santiniketan in 1934 as a lecture in English, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) had just entered the final Phase of his lifelong creative adventure; his creativity exploring new possibilities in painting, poetic expression, music, dance and education. Roy soon becomes part of his inner circle, and a collaborator on many of his projects, particularly as on the poet’s favourite translators. The present volume offers a comprehensive selection of Roy’s Translations from Tagore, including nearly 170 songs, which are more reading of the originals, then renderings- ‘neither literal nor literary an aid to the understanding of the meanings of the songs an incentive to the non- Bengali to try and learn some of the songs of Tagore in their original wording and melody,’ as he explained himself.

Publisher Note

The present selection of the poems and songs of Rabindranath Tagore translated by Kshitis Roy was planned as a joint tribute to Tagore in commemoration of his hundred and fiftieth birth anniversary and to Roy, his favourite translator, in commemoration of the centenary of his birth. His daughter, Srila Chatterji and Sharmila Roy Pommot, provided us with photocopies of his private diaries, in which Roy made his translations and copied down translations made elsewhere and handed out. They helped us track down several sources carrying more translations, the most substantial collection of which is the often reprinted One Hundred Songs of Rabindranath Tagore, compiled by Indira Devi Chaudhurani, published originally in 1961, on the occasion of the centenary of Tagore's birth. We discovered his translations in several anthologies and periodicals, and we are sure there would be more still lying uncollected. We propose to carry on with our search, and hope to come up with an exhaustive second edition sometime in the future.

There has been a spate of translations of Tagore since the Centenary, and the translation debates have continued with different approaches defined by different translators. From 1934 to 1941 Roy had the privilege of Tagore himself monitoring-and in some cases 'revising'-his translations. Krishna Kripalani and Roy are credited with the translation of Tagore's testamentary Sabhyatar Sankat as Crisis in Civilization.

Born 6 September 1911 in Dibrugarh, Assam, Kshitis Roy came down to Kolkata to complete his graduate and postgraduate studies. With a Masters in English Literature, he joined Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, as a teacher of English in Shiksha Bhavan, in 1934, and was almost immediately picked up by Krishna Kripalani, who revived the Visva-Bharati Quarterly in May 1935, to assist him editorially. The Quarterly, in its earlier incarnation (1923-29) had carried translations from Tagore by the Poet himself, Edward Thompson, Kshitishchandra Sen and Indira Devi Chaudhurani. In the New Series, Kshitis Roy and Amiya Chakravarty joined the team of translators, Tagore himself making rare appearances. What is interesting is that Roy would be often translating texts already translated by Tagore! -his versions strikingly different from Tagore's, but faithful to the spirit of the original, capturing shades of Tagore's sensibility.

In 1939-40, Roy was chosen by Tagore to develop and extend the series of school readers he had initiated in 1930- the Sahaj Paths. Roy involved Patha Bhavan and Shiksha Bhavan teachers as contributors to the two new volumes that he edited, contributing several pieces himself. As he spelt out in an editorial note, he laid special emphasis on introducing science, advising teachers of Bengali to seek cooperation of their colleagues teaching science, to ensure that 'children could relate in many possible ways to the world that they could see and hear, and simultaneously develop their natural imagination.'

In the changes in Visva-Bharati that followed the death of the Poet, Roy found himself handling administrative and institutional responsibilities, first as Assistant General Secretary, with the Poet's son Rathindranath as General Secretary, and then in 1948 as the first Principal of Vinay Bhavana, followed by a stint as Assistant Registrar in 1951. As Curator of Rabindra Bhavana, 1955-61, he worked in close association with Vice-Chancellor Satyendranath Bose, on preparing a draft scheme for the reorganization of the Tagore Museum and Archives that could be realized in the Centenary year. In a letter dated 19 May 1958 addressed to Bose, Prime Minister Nehru, expressed interest in Kshitis Roy's scheme. Along with Pulinbihari Sen, Roy was involved in several national and international projects for the Tagore Centenary in 1961, editing and contributing to volumes published by the Sahitya Akademi, the Sangeet Natak Akademi and other institutions.

In 1961 Rathindranath Tagore, in a letter to Pratima Devi, wrote: ‘A news I received this morning has left me deeply distressed. A letter from Kshitis tells me that he has been banished from Rabindra Sadana, his reward for the indefatigable labour that he put in for the birth centenary celebrations. This act of Sudhi [Sudhi Ranjan Das, then Vice- hancellor] has left me with nothing of whatever respect I had for Sudhi, who has now turned out all those who loved Visva-Bharati, and adored my father. Who will he have now to run the place? I can only envisage a dark future.'

Kshitis Roy handled his later official responsibilities as Director of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi and later as Eastern Regional Secretary of the Sahitya Akademi with the same commitment and dedication. But the one passion that he carried with himself to his very last years was that for translation. While Tagore occupied pride of place in his translation project, he produced masterly translations of Gandhi, Nehru, Nirmal Kumar Bose, D H Lawrence, Bibhutibhishan Bandyopadhyay, Sukanto Bhattacharya, and Birendrakumar Bhattacharya.


1 Kalyani 3
2 Retribution 5
3 The Golden Moment 10
4 Sacrifice 11
5 In the Morning 12
6 Shahjahan 13
7 Fulfilment 18
8 Footfalls 20
9 Distant Future: First Version 24
10 Distant Future: Second Version 25
11 Foreign Flower 26
12 The Phantom 29
13 Faint Heart 33
14 The Last Spring 35
15 The Key 37
16 Skeleton 39
17 Wish fulfilment 42
18 The branches bare till yesterday 44
19 The Bird-Men 45
20 Mrityunjaya 47
21 The Kanchan Tree 48
22 Weltschmerz-a Threnody 50
23 The Couple 53
24 Visitation 54
25 The Outcast 58
26 Introduction: First Version 62
27 Introduction: Second Version 65
28 Birthday 67
29 Birthday 68
30 Atonement 72
31 Jogu the Gardener 75
32 Indictment 78
33 The Great Symphony 79
34 The Toilers 82
35 The First Day's Sun 85
1 Dense clouds are massed 89
2 O Death! 91
3 Like the faint breath of Spring 92
4 Ah me! I do not know who sends out 94
5 Here I am on my way home 95
6 Mayest Thou restore light to the blind 96
7 You are the eyes of my eyes 97
8 As I awake this autumn morning 98
9 If I have to go far 99
10 You are what my heart desires 101
11 Happy may you be 101
12 Perhaps on such a day as this 102
13 They make friends of strangers 104
14 Ah me, my brothers, I wish to give 105
15 My heart's beloved 106
16 When I think of you 107
17 O come, O come, Thou God on high 108
18 Make me your veena 108
19 Come back beloved, come back 109
20 You come to the silence of my heart 111
21 Ogo videshini 112
22 Today my heart pines 113
23 Well-beloved of the whole world 114
24 Waves of boundless joy 115
25 You are joy, you are goodness 115
26 Secretly, with loving care 116
27 O paupar mine 117
28 O pauper, poor pauper mine 118
29 Have you then taken your seat 119
30 Men and women have come 120
31 Let me start my day's tasks 121
32 a bees that thirst 122
33 Black Bud-I call her 123
34 I gave my mind to mundane things 125
35 With Thine own light 126
36 I am so taken up with my mites 128
37 When I submit a statement 129
38 Summon us, on this auspicious day 131
39 At the dawning of this auspicious day 132
40 Who is come to my temple? 133
41 In the deep of the darkness 133
42 Give me leave to stand by your door 134
43 If you have dispelled my dream 135
44 May you too who are ready 136
45 In the presence of everybody 137
46 Whoever has given me happiness 139
47 O the soil of my motherland 140
48 If they do not come out in answer 141
49 Have faith all the time, my heart 142
50 Blessed am I that was born 143
51 I do not pray 144
52 Let the flower of my soul 145
53 Wave of joy, radiant in the sun 146
54 White thistles we have tied 146
55 When He strikes the chords 148
56 O beloved of the autumn glade 149
57 Ah, the red red road 151
58 Spring stands at your door today 152
59 When life is parched up 154
60 When you walk in company 155
61 In what sacred flame 156
62 May all my love flow towards Thee 157
63 Open the door 158
64 My in-dwelling man 159
65 When our two hearts 160
66 Is the festival of spring meant only 161
67 Every work we take in hand 161
68 The sun shine, the rain pours 162
69 Light, O Light mine 163
70 I have got my leave 164
71 Your wealth is limitless 165
72 I know it well 166
73 Those that come close to me 168
74 Our master-worker works 169
75 And so, at this instant 170
76 From on high in the sky 171
77 From on high he pours forth 172
78 Touch my soul 172
79 Oh no, this dust is not mine 173
80 Forgive me my weariness 174
81 If you wish it so 175
82 Why need I fear the unknown? 176
83 We shall set ourselves adrift 176
84 The spring-time of youth is come 177
85 We roam, we wander 178
86 My wreath of victory 179
87 Here, the leaves dance in the sun 180
88 Luminous be the sacred court 183
89 There was a time, love 184
90 I do not go seeking her 186
91 Every time on their way out 187
92 When I see the world as a song 187
93 A lone star detached herself 188
94 In your laugh and play 189
95 The winter wind whirls about 190
96 Among the amloki trees 191
97 Salutation to the demon of machine 192
98 Night after night 193
99 The eastern sky is resplendent 194
100 Come away, where the dark mother 195
101 A whisper arises 196
102 The rain is a baul 196
103 Someone has beguiled my song 197
104 As long as Thou keepest me 198
105 On this day of early springtime 199
106 You keep me awake 200
107 I am called back 201
108 The sun at dawn 202
109 My mind wrapt up within myself 203
110 Beyond the bourne of life and death 204
111 There you stand, my very own friend 204
112 Come, O come, let us reap 205
113 Who is that goes about scattering? 206
114 My songs are the fare 207
115 If I have to go 208
116 Your necklace is studded 209
117 My heart goes aimlesslt adrift 210
118 Come to the glade of the kadamba 211
119 May the might of life 212
120 Take courage 213
121 Ah friends, read out to me 214
122 The pang of the first love 215
123 O ever-new 216
124 Our hour is come to its end 217
125 Watch the play of colours 218
126 You are the gleam of the golden dawn 220
127 Why wander hither and thither? 221
128 The long long road 222
129 You stand beyond the shores of death 223
130 I shall attune 224
131 Stern winter is about 225
132 O maid of autumn 226
133 Ascetic among the seasons 227
134 As I walk my way 228
135 Alas! The springtime will soon be over 229
136 Tender and young trees 230
137 If you get tied up in confusion 231
138 All those who remain pent 232
139 Ah, leave some token of yours behind 233
140 The ache of my heart 234
141 Look, as I sat all by myself 235
142 We are the heralds of green youth 236
143 My heart reverberates 237
144 The rubbish of a frustrated life 238
145 He is easy to get if I do not seek him 239
146 O mita, O my faraway friend 239
147 Never before did I see 240
148 Come to me, O best of men 242
149 Sing fearlessly as you fare forth 243
150 If the light of your grace 244
151 If the light of Thy bliss 245
152 If the light of Thy grace 246
153 O stranger from some foreign land 246
154 In the dawn of a new age 247
155 There is honey 248
156 I invoke all those 249
157 There is a flutter in the woods 250
158 My songs are a link between us 252
159 O Santal lad 253
160 The Night is a deep darkness 254
161 As I sit companionless 255
162 May this assembly of the select 256
163 O ever new 257
  Chandalika 259
  Sources and annotations 268
  First line index of Songs 277
Sample Pages

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