Gitanjali and Beyond Issue 3: Tagore Across Cultures

Born in 1861, Rabindranath Tagore’s life spanned the Romantic and Modern periods. He saw the devastation of World War 1, responded with alarm to the growth of nationalism, militarisation and aggressive expansionism in the inter-War years and was pained to witness the outbreak of World War II.

He remained, till his death in 1941, the subject of a subject nation and did not live to see India become a sovereign nation in 1947. He was thus spared from witnessing the deluge of human displacement as a result of the Indian Partition.

Yet he never lost faith in humanity. As a Romantic, he believed in the ‘moral faculty of sympathy’1 (‘The Nation’, p. 3) in humankind, and as a Modern he affirmed, ‘The revelation of spirit in man is modern. I am on its side, for I am modern.’…


Issue 3 – Autumn 2019

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Editorial Team 3

Foreword 8


Section I: Interviews

Introduction to Interviews; Writing Writers Across Cultures Why India? 12
Interview with Ruskin Bond by Bashabi Fraser 15
Interview of Mark Tully by Bashabi Fraser 31
Interview with Patrick French by Bashabi Fraser 42
Never Look Away by Bashabi Fraser 54


Section II: Book Reviews

Aesthetics, Politics, Pedagogy and Tagore: A Transcultural Philosophy of Education 59
Rabindranath Tagore: A Concourse: Assays in Art, Literature and Translation 61
Tagore: Beyond His Language 64


Section III: Creativity


Recalling Former Travels 69
“Some ‘Singing Translations’ of Rabindrasangit, with a Preface on the History and Practice of Translating for Performance” 77



Moldova 87
Meetings with Strangers 88
A Dream of Returning 90
Hawk Waiting 91
Hawk goes South 92
Hawk Reaches the End 93
Springtime at the Bus Stop, Finland 94
Winds from Afar 95
Ghungroos 96
Katha Yatra 97
Terms of Venery 98
Ways to Watch the News 100
Now That I Look Back On It 101
Tavonga Arrives in 2009 102
Fetch the Ferryman 103
A Can of Coke 104
Home 105
Abode of Peace Within and Without 106
Deepali 107
Today I won’t talk about fairies 108
Diwali, Manchester 2001 109
The Vagrant in Me: a prose poem 110
The Branded Hand 112
The Key 113
Rider on the Waves 114
Piraeus in the Twilight 116
Hands 117
The Naughty Word of Wow 118
America, not only 119
Looking out from the Tower of the Chrysler Building, watching the Wall Street Crash After Federico Garcia Lorca, from Poet in New York 120
Asylum 122
5 ways to cross the timeline 123
First Creek 124
Done for the Day 127
There Was a Ship 128
Let This Madness Remain 129
Mending fences 130