The Lover of God
Copper Canyon Press, 2013 M12 15 - 90 pages
Tagore's supressed book now available in an English-Bengali edition
For the first time in English, here is the sequence of poems Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) worked on his entire life—the erotic and emotionally powerful dialogue about Lord Krishna and his young lover Radha.
These "song offerings" are the first poems Tagore ever published, though he passed them off as those of an unknown Bengali religious poet. As the first and last poems Tagore wrote and revised, they represent the entrance and exit to one of the most prolific literary lives of our contemporary world.
The translation rights to Tagore’s poetry were tightly guarded until 2001, when they entered the public domain, making publication of this book possible. These English versions are the result of a five-year collaboration between Bengali scholar Tony K. Stewart, who provided richly associative literal translations, and the celebrated poet Chase Twichell, who shaped the poems into English. This bilingual Bengali-English edition also includes the "biography" Tagore wrote of the unknown religious poet who supposedly authored these poems.
Rabindranath Tagore was born in Bengal, the youngest son of a religious reformer and scholar. He wrote successfully in all literary genres and is the author of the national anthems for both India and Bangladesh. In his mature years he managed the family estates, which brought him into close touch with common humanity and increased his interest in social reforms. He participated in the Indian nationalist movement, and was a devoted friend of Mahatma Gandhi. Tagore received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913; he was knighted in 1915 by the British Government, but later resigned the honor as a protest against British policies in India.
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On Translating Bhānu
The Poems of Sun Lion
1 Spring at last The amuyas flare
2 You innocent
3 He never came to me
4 That jeweldark blue becomes you Lord
5 Shake off that sadness Rādhā
14 When were together nights like this delight me
15 Dont talk about love to me Mādhava
16 When pitiless Mādhava left for Mathurā City
17 So many times Lord I have implored you
18 How long must I go on waiting
19 You resemble my Dark Lord Śyāma
20 Who are You who keeps my heart awake?
21 Who wants to hear the long miserable
6 Come to me with a mouth full of words
7 Listen can you hear it?
8 Hes there among the scented trees
9 A warm breeze frets through the woods
10 Your flute plays the exact notes of my pain
11 High in the blossoming canopy
12 I know who visits your dream Dark One
13 Not only is it dark but clouds roar
22 Ive fallen from my life friend
The Life of Bhānusiṃha Ṭhākura
About the Translators