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A Bengali poet and mystic, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) had long been loved and admired in India, but it was not until the publication of his own English translation of more than a hundred of his Bengali poems in 1913 that he achieved international fame -- and a Nobel Prize.
Comprised of moving, heartfelt prose poems reminiscent of Blake and Gibran -- many almost biblical in their rhythms, phrasings, and images -- Gitanjali (Song Offerings) was inspired by medieval Indian lyrics of devotion in which the principal subject is love, through some poems detail the internal conflict between spiritual longings and earthly desires, and others depict images drawn from nature.
In his introduction to this translation, William Butler Yeats writes: "I have carried the manuscript of these translations about with me for days and I have often had to close it lest some stranger would see how much it moved me." This new edition is sure to earn Tagore a broad new following.