Rabisarani Rabisarani

Before After
Home

Famine and poet's letter to Thomson

5th January, 1916
Severe famine in Bankura. Sadharan Brahmasamaj, Bangiya Hitasadhan Mandali and other voluntary organizations engaged in extensive relief work. Relief funds are being raised. Poet suggests that his play Phalguni be performed and the proceeds be donated towards relief. Abanindranath, Gaganendranath,etc. all come to perform. From Santiniketan poet writes to Thomson saying he is “up to my neck in the rehearsals..."
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Bairagya sadhan

January, 1916
Writes a suitable introductory scene or curtain raiser for the play – Bairagya sadhan - which has no female characters. He also writes Bengali and English programmes to arouse public interest.
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James H. Cousins

15th January, 1916
Irish poet, art critic and educationist James H. Cousins who is a friend of Yeats and Annie Besant comes to see the poet at Jorasanko. They've already exchanged correspondence. A long association between the two gets under way.
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Maghotsav - 86th annual festival

25th January, 1916
The 86th annual festival observed. Morning session held at Brahmasamaj mandir as usual. Evening session held at Jorasanko. Poet speaks at both the sessions and refers to the European conflict raging. A choir of students from the Vidyalaya sings the songs.
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Bairagya Sadhyan & Phalguni

29th January, 1916
Performed at Jorasanko mansion on a meticulously crafted stage. Poet performs in both the prelude and the play proper. The cast consists of Abanindranath, Gaganendranath, Rathindranath, Dinendranath, Pearson, Asit Kumar Halder, Ajitkumar Chrakrabarty,etc. The production, with its highly innovative stage settings and scenery, marks a watershed in the history of Bengali theatre.
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Repeat

31st January, 1916
Performance of Bairagya Sadhyan & Phalguni repeated.
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Shilaidaha

3rd February, 1916
Poet goes to Shilaidaha for rest.
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Artists

February, 1916
Three young artists--Nandalal Bose, Surendranath kar and Mukul Dey descend on Shilaidaha and sit at feet for days on end, receiving lessons in what Nandalal calls "practical nature-study" and a unique "glimpse' of life into which they are initiated by him. Nandalal produces a number of sketches during this visit.
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Writings in Shilaidaha

February, 1916
Writes the last installment of the novel Ghare – baire and three poems.
  • Eikshane/more hridayer19th February,1916
  • Tomarey ki bar bar 20th February,1916
  • Je katha bolitey chai 20th February,1916
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Patisar Hitoishi Fund

21st February, 1916
Goes to Patisar by boat with Pearson to make arrangements for the proper management of the Patisar Hitoishi Fund and ensure that young men, who've come here - inspired by him for rural service, get on well with the local people.
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Pearson's experience

28th February, 1916
For him "It has been a delightful experience to be living on the boat with him and to see him with his tenants who love him so deeply—". Pearson's translation of the poet's Sesher Ratri is printed in the Modern Review under the title Mashi.
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Dinendranath leaves Santiniketan

February, 1916
Dinendranath leaves Santiniketan. This saddens the poet.
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Phalguni is published

February, 1916
Phalguni is published by Indian Press, Allahabad and dedicated to Dinendranath.
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Chhatrasasantantra

1916
Writes the essay Chhatrasasantantra (printed in Sabuj Patra). Its English translation-Indian Students and Western Teachers -is printed in the Modern Review (April, 1916). In this carefully calibrated reaction to the infamous Oaten affair at Presidency College, Kolkata, involving Subhas Chandra Bose poet criticises racist colonial arrogance on the part of the English teachers and stands up for the students.
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Poem

17th March, 1916
Writes--Jouban rey, tui ki rabi --
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Chelmsford

4th April, 1916
New viceroy Chelmsford arrives in Bombay.
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Hardinge

4th April, 1916
Former viceroy Hardinge leaves India.
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Songs

April, 1916
In early April (mid & late Chaitra) the songs keep coming in a steady flow and seem to write themselves out with effortless ease. And all of them seem to enact a journey of some kind.
  • Ami pathbhola ek pathik3rd April,1916
  • Tumi kon pathe je eley 3rd April,1916
  • Jakhan padbe na mor payer chinha 4th April,1916
  • Ei to bhalo legechhilo 8th April,1916
  • Taritey paa dii ni 8th April,1916
  • Tomar holo suru 9th April,1916
  • Ganer surer asanakhani 10th April,1916
  • Amarey bandhbi tora 10th April,1916
  • Oi sagarer dheuey dheuey 11th April,1916
  • Na hoy tomar ja hoechhey11th April,1916
  • Orey amar hridoy amar 12th April,1916
  • Emni korei jai jadi din jak na 13th April,1916
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Another odyssey

April, 1916
He again yields to wanderlust. Another reason why he's keen to go abroad is the acute need of funds for developing the school--a task in which he increasingly invests all his energy. He has been invited to give a series of lectures in the USA too. Plans to go to USA via the Pacific and Japan. Writes to Rathindranath, instructing him to make arrangements as soon as possible. Andrews will go with him.
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Completed Balaka

22nd April, 1916
Writes -- Puratan batsarer jirna klanta ratri – which completes the next anthology - Balaka.
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Home rule League

28th April, 1916
Tilak sets up his Home Rule League. Annie Besant will also set up her Home Rule League in September, 1916.
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Eastward ho!

3rd May, 1916
Poet sails for Japan from Kolkata on the Japanese boat Tosa – Maru accompanied by Andrews, Pearson and the young Mukul Dey.
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Yangon

7th May, 1916
Lands at Rangoon (now Yangon) in Burma (now Myanmar).
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Poet is 56

8th May, 1916
Another birthday comes round, he is fifty six years old.
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Reception

8th May, 1916
Poet is welcomed at a gorgeous reception organised by the resident Bengalis and Burmese intellectuals. Two addresses-in Bengali and English- are read and presented to him in silver caskets.
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Letter to Pratima Devi

12th May, 1916
Writes to Pratima Devi--"…Come to think of it, now I feel it would have been much better if, instead of wandering about elsewhere, I could have spent 3/4 months in a local Buddhist monastery…"
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Singapore

15th May, 1916
Poet arrives here.
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Leaves

16th May, 1916
Poet leaves Singapore.
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Translation of Raja o Rani and Viswarjan

21st May, 1916
Pearson writes Rathindranath that on the way to Hong Kong, poet has done "two very fine translations" Raja o Rani and Viswarjan.
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Hong Kong

24th May, 1916
In Hong Kong receives telegrams and letters from Japan congratulating him. The boat is instructed by Japanese authorities to sail straight to Japan because the Japanese are very keen to receive the poet. Leaves Hong Kong.
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Translates the play Malini

May, 1916
During the last lap of the voyage poet translates the play Malini into English; also writes an address to be delivered in Japan.
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Travelgue

May, 1916
The account of this visit to Japan-- Japanjatri--is also proceeding slowly.
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Kobe, Japan

29th May, 1916
At last the storm-tossed voyage ends as they land in Kobe, Japan.
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Mobbed by reporters and photographers

29th May, 1916
As usual they are mobbed by reporters and photographers. Poet is received by some Indian residents in Japan whose telegrams inviting him to Japan was received by him in Hong Kong. He's also received by his Japanese friends--artists Yokoyama Taikan, Katsuda Shokin, Sano Jinnosuke (former teacher at the Vidyalaya) and the well-known traveller Kawaguchi Ekkai.
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Guest of Mr. Morarji

29th May, 1916
Here he is the guest of a Gujarati merchant – Mr. Morarji.
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Oriental Club

31st May, 1916
He is felicitated at the local Oriental Club by the Indians residing in Kobe and Osaka.
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Welcome address

31st May, 1916
An address is read welcoming the poet and presented to him in a "very handsome carved ivory casket."
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Meets the ladies of the Saturday Morning Club

31st May, 1916
Later in the day he meets the ladies of the Saturday Morning Club and reads from the translations.
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Osaka

1st June, 1916
Visits Osaka and delivers his first considerable lecture of this tour--India and Japan--at Tennoji Hall at the invitation of the Osaka Asahi Shimbun newspaper.
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Unable to find the true Japan

1st June, 1916
He says he has noticed "The whirlwind of modern civilization" as elsewhere in the world but is unable to find the true Japan he is looking for.
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Reaction

June, 1916
It's well received by the audience but the Tokyo Asahi, the most important Japanese newspaper, is rather dismissive in its report.
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Flower-arrangement

3rd June, 1916
Two Japanese ladies come and show him several ways of arranging flowers. Poet is all praise for their skills.
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Tea party

4th June, 1916
Invited to a tea party by Mr. Muraiyama--owner of the Asahi newspaper. Poet highly appreciates the modesty, sophistication, decorum and the restrained yet graceful behaviour of women he encounters in the aristocratic household.
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Tokyo

5th June, 1916
Almost at every station the Japanese and Indians gather to greet him with flowers; more than twenty thousand people gather at Tokyo railway station to greet the poet.
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Taikan's house

5th June, 1916
They are taken to Taikan's house where poet is graciously received by Mrs. Taikan and Okakura's widow. Pearson writes that they have "reached the heart of Japan after having experienced the modernised and Westrnised Japan." Poet gives vent to similar feelings.
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Prime minister

10th June, 1916
Accompanied by Andrews and Pearson, Rabindranath meets Count Okuma Shigenobu, Prime minister of Japan. The noted Buddhist scholar Anesaki Masaharu acts as the interpreter.
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Waseda University

10th June, 1916
They are shown around Waseda University.
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Nippon Bijitsu-In

10th June, 1916
Poet visits this school of art founded by the late Okakura and now run by Taikan.
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"Ideals of Art"

10th June, 1916
Poet speaks on "Ideals of Art" before the teachers and students of the school. Then the exhibition of pictures is formally opened.
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Classical performance of Japanese dance

10th June, 1916
Later in the evening at the best restaurant of Tokyo the poet is entertained with a classical performance of Japanese dance.” it seems as if it (dance) is the music of physical movement…Japanese dance is absolutely total dance. There is not the slightest bit of nakedness in its costumes..."
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The Message of India to Japan

11th June, 1916
The next day poet delivers his address The Message of India to Japan at Tokyo Imperial University before an audience of fifteen hundred strong with a sizable presence of Indians, Americans and Englishmen.Present amongst the audience was Mirra Richard, later known as Sree Maa or The Mother.
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Poet criticizes western civilization

11th June, 1916
Rabindranath characterises western civilisation as “Political Civilisation" which "is scientific, not human…it enshrines gigantic idols of greed in its temples…there is a moral law in this world which has its applications both to individuals and organised bodies of men. You cannot go on violating these laws in the name of your nation, yet enjoy their advantage as individuals..."he warns Japan to steer clear of its pitfalls and cling to her spiritual values. Romain Rolland will soon hail this address as a sign post which points to a bend in human history.
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Buddhists

13th June, 1916
Buddhists felicitate the poet in an entirely Japanese style in the presence of the Tokyo elite in Kaneiji Buddhist temple at Uyeno Park.
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School

14th June, 1916
Visits Tokyo Normal School.
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Comes to Yokohama

15th June, 1916
Leaves Tokyo and retreats to more peaceful Yokohama where he spends the next two months at the invitation of Hara Tomitaro, a wealthy silk merchant. Poet speaks in glowing terms of his host Tomitaro. In Tomitaro's house he sees high class paintings by Taikan and Koanjan Shimomura. He is fascinated and writes about them in his letters to Rathindranath and Abanindranath.
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Reaction

1916
Perhaps as a reaction to what is seen as the poet's pacifism by at least a section of the Japanese elite, enthusiasm for Tagore rather rapidly ebbs away, leaving him an eminent but rather isolated figure in the aftermath of the Tokyo university lecture.
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Poems

1916
He seeks refuge in his verse, writes The Song of the Defeated, Thanksgiving--original English poems and translates many of the Kanika poems into English.
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Dinner

2nd July, 1916
Japan Women's University invites him to dinner.
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The Spirit of Japan

2nd July, 1916
The same day he speaks in the afternoon to students of private colleges at Keio University on The Spirit of Japan. In this lecture he praises Japan's progress in many fields but comes down more sternly than before on Japan's imitation of the west. Criticism of his views in the press is increasingly bitter. Japan has benefited enormously at the expense of China cynically making the most of its position as a partner of the allies in the Pacific, grabbed German possessions in the Far East and is eying further gains. Predatory nationalism and militarism is ascendant in Japan and no wonder there are few takers for the poet's views.
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Zen monastery

12th July, 1916
Visits the Zen Sojiji monastery near Yokohama.
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Writing Lectures for forthcoming tour

1916
Since his visit to the USA has been put off till September, he utilises the breather thus gained writing lectures for the forthcoming lecture tour.
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Karuizawa

August, 1916
Spends 3/4 days with graduates and teachers of Tokyo Women's university on karuizawa hill at their invitation. Pearson and Andrews are with him. Pearson will later write--"These women students with their deep devotion had listened to the message of their Bengali guest, and had served him with their love and reverence."
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Okakura

August, 1916
They spend a few days at the sea-side residence of Okakura's widow and son at their invitation in Idzura.
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Back to Yokohama

8th August, 1916
They come back to Yokohama.
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Kampo Arai

22nd August, 1916
Poet makes the acquaintance of painter Kampo Arai at Hara Tomitaro's house. Engages him to copy paintings in Tomitaro's collection and invites him to visit India and stay at Jorasanko. Writes to Rathindranath asking him to make arrangements for his stay when he arrives 2/3 months later.
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USA tour

1916
Meanwhle arrangements have been completed by his American agent J.B.Pond in the USA for a fast-paced lecture tour which will take him across the USA and back again to the Pacific coast.
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Leaves Japan

3rd September, 1916
Leaves Japan, sails from Yokohama. Andrews returns to India. Poet's accompanied by Pearson and Mukul.
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Arrives at USA

18th September, 1916
Arrives in Seattle,USA.
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1st & 2nd tours

September, 1916
During his first visit (1912-13) he was but a stranger here with few friends and acquaintances in an essentially alien country. Three years later he is an honoured and internationally known, though exotic literary figure whose voice commands attention and respect. There's another crucial difference, though. The main purpose of this lecture tour is to raise badly needed funds for the development and expansion of the Santiniketan Vidyalaya. Poet is always, often painfully aware of this and this awareness is reflected in his letters to relatives and friends.
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Lectures at USA

September, 1916
The lectures he'll deliver here won't be fundamentally different from the ones he recently delivered in Japan, will differentiate narrow, soul-destroying nationalism from international humanism--his solution for the evils of a war-torn world--as sharply as before and offer a trenchant critique of western “Political Civilisation."The reactions will be more widespread, somewhat more sensational for several reasons. In the first place, this is an English-speaking country; secondly, as his tour will progress, the country's entry in the War will be more and more imminent and this will cast its shadow on everything; thirdly the Gadar Party of expatriate, anti-British Indians will maintain a hostile stance towards him.
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The Cult of Nationalism

25th September, 1916
Reads the address-The Cult of Nationalism before a large gathering at the Sunset Club. Gives another reading at Macaulay's Theatre in the evening.
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Portland

26th September, 1916
Delivers the same lecture at a meeting organised by the Drama League of America at Lincoln High School. This address will be later published in the anthology Nationalism (1917) under the title Nationalism in West. It is a seminal essay and strikes the keynote of all his utterances on the subject powerfully, even vehemently drawing both criticism and praise.
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Hungry Stone & other Stories

26th September, 1916
Hungry Stone & other Stories published by Macmillan, London.
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San Francisco

2nd October, 1916
Reads The Cult of nationalism at St. Francis Hotel.
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Lectures local Japanese at Scottish Rite Hall

3rd October, 1916
Lectures local Japanese at Scottish Rite Hall. Lectures are well received, there's some criticism, too.
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Feted at a dinner

4th October, 1916
Poet's feted at a dinner given by Bohemian Club in his honour.
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Columbia Theatre

5th October, 1916
Gives readings from new translations at Columbia Theatre.
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Santa Barbara

6th October, 1916
Reads The Cult of Nationalism at Little Theatre, Montecito.
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Los Angeles

9th October, 1916
Delivers The Cult at Cumnock School of Expression.
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Pasadena

10th October, 1916
Reads The Cult before an audience of two thousand strong.
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Letter to Rathindranath

11th October, 1916
Poet writes to Rathindranath. The letter is significant because it explains why he’s exerting himself so manfully and contains an early statement of the mission which will, before long, crystallise in the vision of Viswabharati. It also lays stress on universal humanism as opposed to predatory nationalism.
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San Diego

11th October, 1916
Delivers The Cult address at Isis Theatre.
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Los Angeles

12th October, 1916
Poet returns to LA; gives public reading of poems and stories which is a huge success.
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Salt Lake City

14th October, 1916
Reads The Cult before an enthusiastic crowd.
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Denver

16th October, 1916
Reads The Cult.
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Boulder

17th October, 1916
Reads The Cult.
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Colorado Springs

18th October, 1916
Reads The Cult.
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Chicago

20th October, 1916
Arrives to the warm welcome of Mrs. Moody and other friends.
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Mrs. Seymour

22nd October, 1916
Mrs. Seymour comes over from Urbana to see him.
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Delivers lecture at Orchestra Hall

24th October, 1916
Delivers The Cult lecture at Orchestra Hall.
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Iowa State University

26th October, 1916
Reads The Cult address at Iowa State University.
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Priyanath Sen dies

26th October, 1916
Priyanath Sen passes away in Kolkata.
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American edition of Hungry Stone & other Stories

27th October, 1916
American edition published by Macmillan, New York.
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Indianapolis

30th October, 1916
Delivers The World of Personality address at Claypool Hotel.
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Great popularity in USA

1916
Hungry Stone & other Stories gains great popularity in USA. Reprinted in November and December.
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Soaring demand

1916
Soaring demand is directly fueled by growing interest in visit.
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Milwaukee

4th November, 1916
Here he reads The Cult.
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Maria Montessori and Tagore

4th November, 1916
A memorable meeting takes place; Maria Montessori comes to see him. They will meet again years later in India.
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Kentucky, Louisville

6th November, 1916
Delivers The Cult address. It's received with divided feelings.
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Tennessee, Nashville

8th November, 1916
Delivers The Cult lecture.
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Michigan, Detroit

10th November, 1916
Reads The Cult to a large audience of the cream of the city. Press reaction is generally favourable.
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Henry Ford

12th November, 1916
Meets Henry Ford.
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Cleveland

14th November, 1916
Delivers The World of Personality address at Twentieth Century Club. There are mixed reactions ranging from mockery to sincere praise.
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Stray Birds

15th November, 1916
This anthology of translated poems is published by Macmillan, New York.
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New York

18th November, 1916
Arrives in New York. Stays at E.W. Paterson's house. Accommodation arranged by Mrs. Moody. Newspapers pay considerable attention to him, print interviews in which poet speaks candidly expressing his views on a range of subjects with the same boldness which characterises his choice of The Cult of Nationalism for public reading in spite of sharp reactions provoked by it.
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G.P. Brett of Macmillan Co.

19th November, 1916
G.P. Brett of Macmillan Co., New York, who has a great respect for him, comes to see the poet.
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Lecture at Carnegie hall

21st November, 1916
Delivers The Cult address at a meeting at Carnegie hall organised by Society of Ethical Culture.
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More than 3000 people gathered

21st November, 1916
The audience is one of the largest ever addressed by the poet in the USA, numbers more than 3000 and the majority are women.
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Lecture at Hudson Theatre

22nd November, 1916
Reads The World of Personality lecture at Hudson Theatre.
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Reads his own writings

24th November, 1916
Gives readings from his writings at Hudson Theatre.
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At Philadelphia

25th November, 1916
Reads his poems at Ogontz School for Girls, later meets the press.
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New Jersey, Paterson

28th November, 1916
Delivers The Cult lecture.
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Back to Philadelphia

29th November, 1916
Back in Philadelphia he reads The Cult at the Academy of Music Hall.
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Decision

2nd December, 1916
Decides to cut short the lecture tour and announces the decision.
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Buffalo

11th December, 1916
Reads What is Art? at Twentieth Century Club.
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Last appearance at New York

12th December, 1916
In his last appearance here, reads from his published and unpublished writings.
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Ohio, Columbus

14th December, 1916
Delivers The Cult address.
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Cleveland

16th December, 1916
Reads The Cult lecture at Gray's Armory.
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Chicago

19th December, 1916
Gives a reading from his writings at Orchestra Hall.
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Urbana

December, 1916
At last comes to Urbana to meet friends of the Tagore Circle, spends altogether nine days, from 22nd to 31st December, 1916 here and gives seven readings from his writings.
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