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Monday, July 7, 2014

Rabindranath Tagore

"Faith is the bird that feels the light 
and sings when the dawn is still dark."

Bengali Poet, Novelist, Musician, Painter, Playwright
1861 - 1941

Do you believe in your artistic talent?  Do you have faith in your creativity?  Do you let your creative light shine or do you hide it under a bushel basket and refuse to share it with the world?  

Creative leaders need to have the faith that they are on the right path.  Even in those darkest hours before the dawn, you need to understand the sun will rise again — that your creative work is important.  

Don't give up on yourself.  Don't give up on the work you do.  You are unique and special.  No one else can create the paintings, the poems or the novels that you can create.  If you don't use your creative gift to produce art, the world will have lost much.  So pick up your pen and write.  Pick up your brush and paint.  Pick up your guitar and sing.

Tagore was the youngest of thirteen surviving children born to Debendranath Tagore and Sarada Devi.  The original family name was Banerjee but was eventually anglicised to Tagore.  His paternal grandfather visited Queen Victoria and other English royalty.  Tagore 

Tagore was raised mostly by servants because his father traveled a lot and his mother died when he was young.  He was raised mostly by servants.  His home was the social center for the arts including music, theater and literature.  His oldest brother was a poet and a philosopher.  Another brother was a composer, musician and a playwright.  His sister was a novelist.  Tagore shunned schools and formal education preferring to be tutored and to read books.  His father sent him to England to study law but he did not like it and instead studied Shakespeare.  He married Mrinalini Devi in 1883 and had five children.

Known mostly for his poetry, Tagore also wrote novels, essays, short stories and thousands of songs.  He composed over 2,000 songs.  He wrote 8 novels and 4 novellas.  He also took up painting at age 60 and had several exhibitions of his work.

In 1913, Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  In 1915 the British Crown granted him knighthood which he renounced in 1919 after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Here is a poem by Tagore:

My Song
by Rabindranath Tagore

This song of mine will wind its music around you,
my child, like the fond arms of love.

The song of mine will touch your forehead
like a kiss of blessing.

When you are alone it will sit by your side and
whisper in your ear, when you are in the crowd
it will fence you about with aloofness.

My song will be like a pair of wings to your dreams,
it will transport your heart to the verge of the unknown.

It will be like the faithful star overhead
when dark night is over your road.

My song will sit in the pupils of your eyes,
and will carry your sight into the heart of things.

And when my voice is silenced in death,
my song will speak in your living heart.