Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursdays With Tagore - May 13



Every Thursday, I shall read one of Tagore's poems as translated in this book or some other poem I can find. I shall post some lines from the poem and perhaps a detail of how I liked this poem or not. Any others who want to join in this meme are absolutely welcome to do so!

This is one of Tagore's more popular poems, that served as a cry to fight for independence from the British.  Known as Ekla Chalo Re in Bengali, here is the English translation of a song Mahatma Gandhi called one of his favourites.

If they answer not to thy call walk alone,
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou of evil luck,
open thy mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou of evil luck,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou of evil luck,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart
and let it burn alone.

It's easy to understand why this poem stirred the hearts of so many freedom fighters and is still as relevant today. Powerful, inspirational and emotional. Another unforgettable poem!

6 comments:

Priya Parmar said...

i love the feeling of boldness that he inspires. it is an individual boldness and courage and commitment. i love it!

The Book Mole said...

What a beautiful poem! I am not a huge fan of patriotic poems in general as they are calculated to motivate and lack some literary qualities, but Tagore is perfect! This poem is great literature while also managing to stir hearts as you say. He is indeed great!

Priya Iyer said...

it is a beautiful one, no doubt! as always! :)

didn't know this was called ekla chalo re.. have heard the tune of ekla chalo re so much on DD Gujarati that it's stuck in my head.. this post makes me want to listen to it again!! :)

JoAnn said...

Beautiful... can certainly see why it was so inspirational.

Vaishnavi said...

This was beautiful! Such simple lines but how they demonstrate pathos! I am excited about Gitanjali...yet to begin :)

Kals said...

Priya - Absolutely. I think this poem is just a reflection of Tagore himself. Inspirational, independent and powerful!

The Book Mole - You make a wonderful point. Both lyrically and patriotically, this poem is wonderful :)

Priya Iyer - I know! So emotional indeed :)

JoAnn - Indeed. It is stirring.

Vaishnavi - Absolutely. I'm looking forward to seeing how you like the Gitanjali :)

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