Gitanjali, originally written in Bengali, and then later translated into English by Gurudev himself, is one of the seminal works in Bengali literature by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
Gitanjali meaning “Song Offering” is a collection of 156 poems (103 in the English version). Later, Gurudev received the Nobel Prize in Literature for the English version of Gitanjali. The English translations of his Bengali poems first published in November 1912 by the India Society, in London. It contained translations of 53 poems from the original Bengali Gitanjali, as well as 50 other poems from his other works. The translations were often radical, leaving out or altering large chunks of the poem and in one instance fusing two separate poems (song 95, which unifies songs 89,90 of Naivedya). The English Gitanjali became popular in the West and was widely translated.
Here we reproduce one of the most popular poems from the collection: Song 35
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
The entire poetry collection can be accessed here.
Also read: परशुराम की प्रतीक्षा