A rare collection of Rabindranath Tagore’s short poems written while he gave autographs to his readers will soon be published as a book for the first time.
Compiled and edited by curator and poet Nilanjan Banerjee, the gems were so far lying hidden in the archives of Rabindra Bhavana in Tagore’s abode at Santiniketan.
The book ‘Knockings at my heart’ has around 81 such autograph-poems which will soon be released by Roli Books.
“These are very short poems or couplets. He was influenced by the precision, depth, power and intensity of Japanese haiku style of poetry,” Banerjee said.
After getting the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 for his book of poems, Gitanjali, Gurudev had become a celebrity in Asia and Europe and was often requested by fans to compose short poems while signing autographs.
The book says Tagore soon perfected the craft and took it seriously which is evident in the painstaking modification of many of these poems years after they had been written.
The polymath had composed numerous such short poems during his visits to China and Japan between 1916 and 1929.
At Rabindra Bhavana, part of the Visva Bharati university campus, multiple versions of Rabindranath’s autograph-poems can be found either in the poet’s own handwriting or in typed scripts or printed forms.
The file ‘MSF Autograph Poems’ contains several sets of typed poems.
Another file ‘MS 460’ includes eight poems by the Nobel laureate in his own handwriting in an address book.
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