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Life Arts    H4'ed 4/25/18

Rabindranath Tagore's Hero Poems Part I

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Rabindranath Tagore's Hero Poems

[While Tagore wrote extensively on philosophical exchanges between significant characters from India's great epics, such as the Karna-Kunti Samvad, the vast compendium of his poetry is essentially reflective and non-historic. He did, however, write a few tribute poems dedicated to heroic figures from India's medieval years, including the Sikh hero, Banda Singh Bahadur, and the Maratha chief, Chhatrapati Shivaji. In this sequence, I will present translations of these highly-regarded poems.]

I. The Valiant Prisoner

(A translation of Rabindranath Tagore's poem, Bandi Bir, addressed to the Sikh Hero, Banda Singh Bahadur (1670-1716))

Translated by: Monish R Chatterjee (April, 2018)

By the shoreline of the five rivers of lore

Tying their flowing tresses in topknots-

Verily have the Sikhs awakened at Guruji's call

Unshaken, fearless.

Sounds of Hail to Guruji! from a thousand voices

Echoed across the skies everywhere

Awakened anew, a Sikh reborn

Gazed transfixed upon the Sun of a New Dawn.

"Alakh Niranjan!" Rose the great chant,

Breaking all bonds, shredding the last strands of fear.

Next to their mighty chests, ecstatic the swords clang

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Monish R. Chatterjee received the B.Tech. (Hons) degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from I.I.T., Kharagpur, India, in 1979, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering, from the University of Iowa, (more...)

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