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Rabindranath Tagore: Final Poems Hardcover

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Rabindranath Tagore: Final Poems + The Heart of God: Prayers of Rabindranath Tagore + Gitanjali
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: George Braziller; lst ed edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807614882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807614884
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #408,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Rabindranath Tagore's poetry is notoriously difficult to transport intact from Bengali to English, even when the poet himself was doing the translating. Yet in a new selection of Tagore's Final Poems, written as the poet anticipated death (which came in 1941), Wendy Barker (Way of Whiteness) and Saranindranath Tagore, a great-nephew of Rabindranath and professor of philosophy at the National University of Singapore, have succeeded wonderfully. The collection is padded with the translators' long preface and introduction, but the 50-odd pages of poems are rife with hard clarity: "Sorrow's dark night over and over/ has come to my door./ Its only visible weapons / pain's deformed poses, fear's monstrous forms / play out their deceptions in darkness."

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The great Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Tagore (1861-1941) was a versatile and unceasingly creative man who wrote in every literary form, composed songs, painted, and achieved renown as an educational reformer. In his introduction to the first English translation of selections from Tagore's last four books, Saranindranath Tagore, the poet's great-grandson and translator, celebrates the poet's life and, along with cotranslator Barker, discusses the difficulties involved in translating Tagore's brilliantly nuanced Bengali into English. But such concerns fall away in the presence of these exquisite poems. Written while Tagore was in extreme pain and moving slowly but inexorably toward death, they are compact, elegant, contemplative, and riveting lyrics that pierce the quiet realm of planets and stars, then dive back to the flowery, noisome Earth, where beauty and ugliness, life and death entwine. Tagore, poignant and wise, ponders love, fear, time, memory, and the porousness of the self in poems of wonder, sorrow, and solace. Hopefully, these precious final works will inspire renewed interest in Tagore's entire oeuvre. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Uday Roy on December 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Inheriting a famous family name means nothing unless the bearer of this burden strives to achieve things that are extra-ordinary. I salute & congratulate Saranindranath (Tagore) and the co-author Wendy Barker for taking up the immense challenge of translating Rabindranath's Final Poems. Authors successfully carry the sacred torch of translating Bengali Literature to reach out to the world body in the new millenium that was once ignited by Tagore himself. It is interesting to rediscover this "mystic" poet from India who once became the sensation of America. In 1912, the famous Chicago based "Poetry" magazine ran an issue on Tagore before his visit to the Americas. Tagore became the Poet's Poet and Writer's Writer of many literary protagonists of west such as W B Yeats, Robert Frost and Ezra Pound. It is all the more befitting to publish this book in a time when the world is discovering the great literary genre of Indian English through the works of Rushdie, Roy and Naipaul.
It is a bit unusual to have a 40-page preface (by Wendy Barker) and introduction (by Saranindranath) in poetry book that contains only 59 pages of poems. But after reading these prologues I am convinced that they were necessary. Particularly Saranindranath's lucid explanation of Rabindranath's complex religious philosophy is very interesting. Before his death, Tagore wrote the Final Poems from his sick bed during 1940 and 1941. Through these poems, we understand and feel the maturity of a great genius of all times who explored the human inquiry through thousands of songs & poems, hundreds of essays, short stories, numerous novels & paintings. The Final Poems are divided into three sections: Sickbed, Birthday and Last poems.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Hill on April 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I cannot recommend a book more than this one. I have read and re read this book so many times. This man's insight, joy, acceptance and fear of his impending death comes forth brilliantly in the Last Poems. Please read them, and read them again. I believe I will get his other poetry as well. WOW and Wendy Barker's translation captures the spirit of the author's work. She has to be commended as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Johnsen on February 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before the naked reality of imminent death, all affectations fall away. Facing eternity, Tagore composed his greatest work. Here, the Nobel laureate speaks from the depths of his mortality to ours. This is one of the finest collections of poetry in the annals of literature.
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