About the Poet :
Rabindranath Tagore was the first Asian to be awarded the Noble Prize for literature. He was born in a rich and aristocratic family in Calcutta. His father Maharshi Devendranath Tagore was an influential man and was respected by the people for his nobleness and charity. Rabindranath was a precious child and started writing poetry quite early in life. He was a versatile genius and wrote a large number of poems, short stories, novels and plays. Gitanjali, The Crescent Moon, The Gardener and Fruit Gathering are some of his well-known books of poetry. Gora, The Wreck, The King of The Dark Chamber and The Post Office are some of his famous novels and plays. He was awarded the Noble Prize in Literature in 1913 for his Gitanjali.
As a thinker, philosopher and educationist. Tagore is internationally.famous. His deep interest in education led him to found the Vishwa Bharati University at Santiniketan. Mahatma Gandhi called him ‘Gurudeva’. Well versed in the philosophy of the Upanisads, he interpreted the soul of India to the West. Through all his writings he tried to present to his readers the quintessence of Indian culture.
Rabindranath was a world poet. He wrote of the Universal man. The appearance of such a versatile genius as Rabindranath is something unique in the history of the world. He is one of the major products of the Indian Renaissance. The Gitanjali which was responsible for the award of the Noble Prize to him consists of a series of unique devotional lyrics. Poetry is a memorable speech. Poetry is made with words. Its primary appeal is aesthetic. It is calculated to appeal to our sense of beauty. It must give us a sense of pleasure. But poetry which is written on devotional themes is apt to be dominated by doctrines or creeds particularly in those countries where God is imprisoned within certain articles of faith. This is why a devotional poetry in English has not attained great heights. Only the Hymns of William Cowper are readable. Even Milton cannot be claimed to be a religious poet of sublime heights.
What is most striking to the reader of Gitanjali is the secularity of the poet. The philosophy of the Upanishads is translated into the poetic idiom of Rabindranath in such an appealing fashion that it has a Universal appeal. “The philosophy of Rabindranath”, says Radhakrishnan. “is a sign for the infinite.” The poet is stirred by the varied manifestations of the infinite in the midst of the finite. Finally, we have to say of Gitanjali that its poetry is the reality. Tagore is not primarily a philosopher. He is essentially a writer of songs. Gitanjali is essentially a tuneful expression of the poet’s relation with his Maker.
CRITICAL APPRECIATION OF SILENT STEPS
‘Silent Steps” is a devotional poem written by Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore was a literary man of all work-poet, dramatist, novelist, short- story writer and essayist. Through all his writings, he tried to present to his readers the quintessence of Indian culture. In his poems, if on the one hand Tagore makes us aware of the sensuous delights of Nature, on the other he impresses us by his subtle and deep probings into metaphysics and philosophy. His verse is simple but graceful, natural but majestic, sweet but suggestive. Tagore was a poet of international repute. He was not only a poet’s poet but people’s poet. The appearance of such a versatile genius as Rabindranath Tagore is something uncommon in the history of the world. He is one of the major products of the Indian Renaissance. The Gitanjali which was responsible for the award of the Noble prize to to him consists of a series of unique devotional lyrics. The present poem has also been taken from The Gitanjali. In the present poem, Tagore reiterates God’s eternal presence. God comes to his devotee every moment. every season in every age. His silent steps are always at work and he comes on the Chariot of clouds. His touch fills the human heart with joy.
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God is omnipotent and omnipresent. He moves from one place to another in a mysterious way. He is present in every moment and every age. He is present every day and every night. He comes and goes everywhere. The poet has sung many songs in praise of God. These songs were the product of his varied moods. But in all his songs, he has expressed the idea that God comes everywhere. Spring comes in the month of April. Days are sunny and pleasant in this month. Spring is the king of all seasons. Flowers blooms in plenty in this season. Naturally, the atmosphere is scented. God is seen moving from place to place in this season. Rainy season starts in the month of July. In this season the sky is overcast with clouds. God visits each and every place on this earth on the thundering Chariot of clouds. When the poet suffers from pain and sorrow, God comes to him and relieves the pain by the Golden touch of His feet. Thus, the misery of the poet is turned into joy by the grace of God. This is a typical poem of Tagore. It expresses the psychology of his religious experience. Here, Tagore has been successful in exploiting adroitly the prose-poetry as a new medium. The cardinal virtue of free verse lies in the intensified moment of poetic expression for going out a music of its own. It is not the music associated with verse forms based on rhythm of metrical feet but cadence, which was bound to no counted syllable of each lines that rose and fell with the emotions and flow of words. Tagore achieved, excellence in this aesthetic organization. His tenor is essentially meditative and mode lyrical. His imagery is forged in the smithy of Indian philosophy and spiritualism.