Gitanjali Reborn

Many writers translated Rabindranath Tagore
Andre Gide in France
Boris Pasternak in Russia
Juan Ramon Jimenez in Spain
And many others …
But they couldn't maintain the essence
Of culture and historical background
On which Tagore wrote his poems
It happened because
Foreign writers had no knowledge of Bengali
And the composite culture of Bengal
They just translated the words.

Gitanjali was published in 1912
And was edited by W. B. Yeats
He did a lot of damage to the
spirit and rhythm of original poems
in editing Tagore's translations
It was noticed by William Radice
A student of English at Oxford University
He took the double challenge
Vowed to insert Bengali fragrance in Gitanjali
and make it more acceptable to people
He studied Bengali for two years in London
After completing his study in English.

He started translating Tagore
in its original form, sound, rhythm
and published selected poems in 1985
Then put his hands on Gitanjali
It took tons of energy and patience
in new translations,
to reconcile with Tagore's original manuscript
and to compare with the version edited by Yeats
The Newdigate Prize winner poet 'Radice'
finally completed his work in 2011
And published his book ‘Gitanjali Reborn'
after 100 years of Gitanjali published.

by Asit Kumar Sanyal

Comments (1)

Well put Asit Kr Sanyal. For those looking for the book it is available as “Rabindranath Tagore Gitanjali Translated by William Radice”. Publisher: Penguin. There is a book titled “Gitanjali Reborn-William Radice’s writings on Rabindranath Tagore” edited by Martin Kampchen, a German Scholar Somewhat like Radice. A great book that complements. William Radice’s translations and his writings helped me better understand the greatness of Gitanjali and Rabindranath Tagore.