Captivated nation immortalizes timeless Tagore
Thursday, 07 August 2008

Agency

The 67th death anniversary of Nobel Prize winning Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore was being commemorated throughout the country on Wednesday.

Numerous organisations in Dhaka are holding cultural programmes in observance of the day and remembrance of the region's most celebrated literary figure.

Bangla Academy will hold a discussion on Tagore's life and works in its seminar hall on Wednesday, to be followed by a cultural programme.

Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha will launch a two-day Tagore death anniversary event Wednesday afternoon at the Central Public Library.

'Shwarobritto' will hold a session of Tagore's songs and poetry recitals.

Bangladesh Betar, Bangladesh Television and private TV channels will broadcast special programmes in remembrance of the great poet and novelist throughout the day.

The youngest of 14 siblings, Tagore was born in 1861 at Jorashanko in Calcutta, West Bengal, and grew up in an elevated and culturally enlightened environment, to be a landlord or 'zamindar' governing sprawling estates in Kushtia, Pabna and Rajshahi in the then East Bengal.

Tagore, an original and prolific writer, breathed his last in 1941 in Calcutta after living a long and eventful life. He founded the world famous seat of learning Santiniketan, wrote thousands of songs, hundreds of exquisite short stories, great novels, plays and dance dramas.

His famed anthology of poems 'Geetanjali' won him the Nobel prize for literature in 1913, the first ever Asian and Bengali to win the prestigious literary award.

The Nobel organisation called him a "towering figure in the millennium-old literature of Bengal".

WB Yeats, among others, led the Western appreciation of Tagore, exclaiming of his work in 1912: "These lyrics…display in their thought a world I have dreamed of all my life long," "the work of a supreme culture".

Tagore gave both India and Bangladesh their national anthems, while every branch of modern Bengali literature has been enriched by his extraordinarily diverse works and bears the great writer's unique legacy.

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