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Index: Dossier: Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore in London.

William Rothenstein: ‘Tagore, who has hitherto lived quietly in Bengal, devoting himself to poetry and to his school, would now grow restless. As a man longs for wine or tobacco, so Tagore could not resist the sympathy shown to a great idealist. He wanted to heal the wounds of the world. ‘

Ezra Pound and Rabindranath Tagore.

Harold Hurwitz: ‘Tagore was also a stimulus to Pound, who was not only an admirer but a disciple as well. His early contacts with the Indian poet brought forth three essays, one review, and one short story, as well as a renewed interest in Indian poetry, manifested in the translations Pound made of several poems from the fifteenth century Indian poet Kabir, which he published in the Modern Review of Calcutta in June, 1913.’

Introduction to ‘Gitanjali’.

Yeats: ‘We write long books where no page perhaps has any quality to make writing a pleasure, being confident in some general design, just as we fight and make money and fill our heads with politics—all dull things in the doing—while Mr. Tagore, like the Indian civilization itself, has been content to discover the soul and surrender himself to its spontaneity.’

At the fair.

Rabindranath Tagore: ‘The night grows dark and the road lonely Fireflies gleam among the leaves. Who art thou that followest me with stealthy silent steps? Ah, I know; it is thy desire to relieve me of all my gains. I will not disappoint thee! For I still have something to my share and my fate has not cheated me of my all.’

Rabindranath Tagore.

Ezra Pound: ‘We have found our new Greece, suddenly. As the sense of balance came back upon Europe in the days before the Renaissance, so it seems to me does this sense of a saner stillness come now to us in the midst of our clangour of mechanisms.

The “mens sana in corpore sano,” the ethic of Odyssey, came then upon the tortured habits of mediaeval thought, and with no greater power for refreshment.

I am not saying this hastily, nor in an emotional flurry, not from a love of brandishing statement. I have had a month to think it over.

Hearing his first Greek professor, hearing for the first time the curious music of Theocritus, coming for the first time upon that classic composure which Dante had a little suggested in his description of limbo, Boccaccio must have felt, I think, little differently from what we have felt here, we few who have been privileged to receive the work of Mr. Tagore before the public have heard it.’