Rabindranath Tagore was born in 1861 in the vast city of Calcutta. His Brahman family was wealthy and prominent; his father, Maharishi Debendranath Tagore, was a scholar and religious reformer. Sarada Devi, his mother, died when he was just a young boy — when her body was carried out through the courtyard and then burned, was when he first realized that his mother would never return. His family were pioneers within the Bengal Renaissance, making great efforts to combine their traditional culture from India with those of the Western.
Tagore, the youngest of his family, began composing poetry at the young age of eight. His earliest education was provided by tutors, followed then by a variety of schools including one year at a college in London. By 1883, he had married and had three daughters and two sons, all from his only wife, Mrinalini Devi Raichaudhuri.
Tagore wrote his first collection of poems at the age of 17, and it was published by one of his friends as a surprise gift. He later collected a large selection of folklore and local legands from the area now known as Bangladesh. Then, in between 1893 and the beginning of the 1890s, he published a total of seven volumes of poetry. Among these were The Golden Boat (Sonar Tari) and the well known Khanika. This was probably one of the most productive writing segments in his life, and it resulted in an inaptly applied epitaph, The Bengali Shelley’. Probably one of the most valuable things regarding Tagore’s writings is that he wrote in the more common dialects of the local people, refusing to write in the traditional language of India. Although this was very popular among the common people, the scholars and critics who reviewed his work found it less acceptable.
My Polar Star
by Rabindranath Tagore
After his profound writing period, he founded Visva-Bharati, which was a school based on the blending of both Indian and Western philosophy and developing educational practices. Built in 1901, twenty years later it had acquired the status of a university. During the time of the school, Tagore wrote a vast array of novels, poems, an in-depth history of India, a variety of textbooks, as well as a text on teaching methodologies.
by Rabindranath Tagore
He developed a trusted reputation as a poet and author in both England and the United States upon the international publication of Song Offerings (Gitanjali). In this work, Tagore attempted to identify the sources of inner calmness while exploring a series of themes devoted to human and divine love. Tagore translated the poems from this collection into English. These writings appeared in print in 1912 and included an introduction by the infamous William Butler Yates. His writings attracted the attention of the committee of the Nobel Prize awards, which was probably one of the highlights of his life. As if he had not accomplished enough in his life, at the age of seventy, Tagore decided that he was going to take up oil painting, at which he was decidedly successful.