Tagore, Poet and Humanist


  • Jack Lindsay


Rabindranath Tagore, Indian culture


There are many aspects of Indian culture which deserve to be more widely known, aspects which are interesting in themselves and of considerable relevance to us all in the struggle to create a culture adequate totheneedsof the world today. Rabindranath Tagore as a poet and humanist is widely known as a name, but generally as little more. His achievement is however so vital and so far-reaching that we can all profit by considering and studying it. I have called him poet because I think that his poetry lies at the core of his work, but since it was 'poetry as activity,' to use a phrase of Tristan Tzara, it spreads into other spheres, ultimately into all spheres of human activity. The way in which Tagore followed up the forces radiating from his poetry and developed a many-sided expression without ever losing touch with the central impulse makes him in many respects an exemplary figure for us all, whatever national culture we work in. His many-sidedness becomes a powerful protest against the fragmentation of modern man, an expression of human wholeness and a demonstration of the ways in which creativeness can invade every sphere without dissipating itself or losing its grasp of the essential goals.