Rabisarani Rabisarani

Before After
Home

Chas.W.Wendte

1st January, 1913
Secretary, National Federation of Religious Liberals, Boston, writes back imploring him to reconsider his decision and renews the invitation.
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Translating Sarodotsav

January, 1913
Poet is through with the translation of his play Sarodotsav.
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Poet's technique of translation

3rd January, 1913
In a letter written to Dineshchandra Sen, he explains his technique of translation--"…when it is not possible to transfer to English the music of the language and cadence of Bengali, its inner beauty comes through if only the sentiment, the feeling is translated into very simple English. This job is easily done by me..." He had already started translating his poems, songs and plays into English on a large scale while staying in England and continues translating more of his writings in the USA. Quite few of the poems later printed in various anthologies were translated in England. More of these are now translated in Urbana and later in Chicago. These translated prose-poems will later appear in anthologies such as The Gardener, The Crescent Moon, Fruit-Gathering, Lover's Gift and Crossing.
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Ke nibi go kiney amai

8th January, 1913
Writes Ke nibi go kiney amai – the only poem/song he will write during the American sojourn.
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Macmillan Co

15th January, 1913
Agrees to publish an inexpensive edition of the Gitanjali and Fox Strangways sends the agreement to Rabindranath in the USA for his signature. Later in the year, the book will make publishing history and pave the way for the poet's worldwide reputation following the award of the Nobel prize for literature.
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Chicago

19th January, 1913
Leaves Urbana for Chicago. In Chicago he stays at the palatial residence of Harriet Moody, widow of the American poet W.V.Moody who is a gracious and wonderful hostess. Later he'll write Ajit k. Chakrabarty--"…There is a natural large-heartedness in her hospitality. An abundant motherly sentiment issues from her heart and flows along in diverse currents…As I've found a friend in London, so have I found a mother here--this highest expression of a woman is very gladdening to me. It is precisely this expression which I have tried to articulate in Anandamoyee in Gora."
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Post Office

22nd January, 1913
Poet reads this play before an audience at the painter Henderson's residence.
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Lecture at Chicago University

23rd January, 1913
Delivers an address on Ideals of the Ancient Civilization of India at Chicago University.
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Poems/Songs

24th January, 1913
Reads a few poems/songs at Harriet Monroe's place.
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Lecture at Abraham Lincoln Centre

26th January, 1913
Poet speaks at the Abraham Lincoln Centre on The Problem of Evil.
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Letter

28th January, 1913
Writes to Swarnakumari Devi expressing his inability to assist her in publishing English translations of her writings in the west.
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Rochester

29th January, 1913
Goes to Rochester.
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Race Conflict

30th January, 1913
Reads the lecture Race Conflict at the Congress meeting of the Religious Liberals.
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Rudolph Christopher Eucken

January, 1913
Makes the acquaintance of the German philosopher and Nobel laureate Rudolph Christopher Eucken, with whom he has already entered into correspondence.
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Mrs. Moody's expression about the poet

31st January, 1913
Mrs. Moody expresses a similar sentiment when she writes to the poet -- "I cannot tell you what you have done for me."
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Boston

31st January, 1913
Arrives in Boston.
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Okakura

3rd February, 1913
Meets his old acquaintance Count Okakura who is now Curator, Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
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R.F. Rattray

February, 1913
Meets Ajit k.Chakrabarty's friend and his admirer -- R.F. Rattray.
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Poet persuades Rattray

February, 1913
Poet persuades Rattray to improve the English of his essays and lectures.
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Rattray writes to poet

February, 1913
Moved by his simplicity and humility Rattray writes--"…I had the curious experience of going over the work of a great writer of English and correcting it as if it were a schoolboy's exercise." James Houghton Woods, Professor of Indian Philosophy at Harvard University, organises these lectures.
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The Problem of Evil

13th February, 1913
Poet lectures on The Problem of Evil in the Emerson hall, Harvard before an enthusiastic audience. It will be printed in the July issue of The Hibbert Journal.
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Man's Relation to the Universe

17th February, 1913
Delivers the second lecture on Man's Relation to the Universe.
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Philosophical Club

18th February, 1913
Speaks at the Philosophical Club.
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Realization of Brahma

19th February, 1913
Reads the third lecture on Realization of Brahma.
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Andover Divinity Club

19th February, 1913
Also speaks at the Andover Divinity Club. Rattray will later write – "When Tagore was at Harvard, Professor and Mrs. Woods invited a number of guests to their house to meet him; one was T.S.Eliot, who was a fellow-student of mine."
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Students of Jatiya Siksha Parishad meet the poet

February, 1913
A number of Bengali students, formerly of the Jatiya Siksha Parishad, Kolkata, who are now studying at Harvard, avidly meet him. Rabindranath has a high opinion of them and says so in a letter written to Jagadananda Ray.
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Returns to Chicago

21st February, 1913
Poet is back in Chicago with his family.
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Mrs. Moody

February, 1913
Stays at Mrs. Moody's house.
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Harriet Monroe gets to know the poet better

February, 1913
Harriet Monroe now gets to know the poet better. Monroe will later recall these evenings spent at Mrs. Moody's house in the poet's company -- "We used to spend evenings around Mrs. Moody's fire listening to the chanting of poems in Bengali, or the recitation of their English equivalents and feeling as if we were seated at the feet of some ancient wise man of the East..."
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Rathindranath

February, 1913
Busies himself with typing his father's translations.
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Enjoys Mrs. Moody hospitality again

February, 1913
Mrs. Moody gets her secretary to type more copies of the translations. The poet will again enjoy her magnificent hospitality during his second visit to the USA in 1916.
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Homesick

28th February, 1913
Rabindranath now longs for Santiniketan and his school. He says so in a letter written to Rothenstein.
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Urbana

3rd March, 1913
They are back in Urbana.
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Letter to Ajitkumar

13th March, 1913
Poet writes to Ajitkumar – "After my arrival in Urbana I'm spending my days by writing prose lectures in the morning and translating my poems the rest of the day. The subject of my prose essay is The Problem of Self. "In translating his poems/songs, far from doing so randomly, the poet deliberately chooses a wide variety of poems which show the ample range of his themes. The same approach is evident in the selection of the plays and essays translated.
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Alfred Noyes

16th March, 1913
Meets the English poet Noyes at a dinner party.
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A reading of Chritangada

18th March, 1913
Poet gives a reading of Chritangada; Noyes present at the reading.
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Okakura writes to Rabindranath

18th March, 1913
Count Okakura writes to the poet – "I am leaving Boston tomorrow and go straight through Seattle and Japan." His death occurs in September, 13 in Japan.
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Cosmopolitan Club

19th March, 1913
Reads an essay at the local Cosmopolitan Club before his departure.
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Back to Chicago

20th March, 1913
Poet's back in Chicago.
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Wisconsin

31st March, 1913
Delivers an address on The Relation of the Individual and The Universe at Wisconsin University in the evening.
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Exhibition

31st March, 1913
They go to see an exhibition of Post-Impressionist paintings in Madison after the lecture.
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Rabindranath reads his plays at Chicago

March, 1913
In Chicago the poet gives readings of his plays Post Office, Chitra, The King of the Dark Chamber, and Malini.
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Boston

6th April, 1913
They leave Chicago for Boston.
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New York - the last lap of their tour

7th April, 1913
They arrive in New York in the last lap of their tour.
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The Problem of Self

7th April, 1913
Rabindranath reads the essay The Problem of Self at Harvard University.
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The Realisation of Beauty

9th April, 1913
Reads the essay The Realisation of Beauty at Harvard University.
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Olympic

12th April, 1913
From New York they sail for England on the Olympic.
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London

19th April, 1913
They arrive in London.
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Yeats wishes for Post Office to be staged

25th April, 1913
Yeats writes him a letter saying they are anxious to perform the Post Office in Dublin in the middle of May.
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Boarding house at Alfred Place

1st May, 1913
They again take up residence at the familiar boarding house at Alfred Place.
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Ernest Rhys

4th May, 1913
Poetry reading session at Rhys's residence. Rabindranath reads a few of the Gitanjali pieces at Mrs. Rhys's request. Also sings "Se je ashe, ashe, ashe". Later the poet will dedicate the Sadhana to Ernest Rhys.
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Kalimohan Ghosh

7th May, 1913
Kalimohan Ghosh, who is now in London will later write -- "May 7--(The poet) reads The King of the Dark Chamber at 8.30 in the evening at Lady Flower's house on Gilbert Street. It's a private drawing room. Not many have been invited. It's a small group among whom I know Mr. and Mrs.Rhys, Mr. and Mrs.Mead and Lady Law."
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Poet is 53 years old

7th May, 1913
The poet is 53 years old now, writes to Ajitkumar – "…perhaps I've started treading the path of a new development, perhaps yet another veil will disappear …" He'll prove right before the year is out. Over long years he's been slowly, steadily transcending the boundaries of family, sectarian religion, race and country – he will become a world citizen with the award of the Nobel Prize.
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Chitra

9th May, 1913
Reads the yet unpublished Chitra at Northbrook Society Hall before a distinguished audience. The reading is organised by The IndianArt, Dramatic and Friendly Society.
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Mrs. Boole

11th May, 1913
Poet visits this celebrated mathematician, accompanied by Swami Vivekananda's disciple Miss J. Macleod.
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Post Office

17th May, 1913
Which, Yeats thinks is a masterpiece is performed at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and the production attracts media attention.
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Death of Dwijendralal Roy

17th May, 1913
Dwijendralal Roy dies. Tagore later sends a letter to Roy's son, Dilipkumar Roy mentioning that he respects Dwijendralal till the end.
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Indian Mejlis

18th May, 1913
An association of Indian students studying at Cambridge brings him over to Cambridge and the poet reads a lecture at a gathering of the Mejlis. The lecture is organised at the initiative of Mejlis members like Prasantachandra Mahalanabis, Aurobindamohan Basu, etc.
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Anderson

18th May, 1913
Rabindranath, taking advantage of this opportunity, meets Prof.J.D. Anderson.
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Back in town

19th May, 1913
Poet is back in town.
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The Relation of the Universe and the Individual

19th May, 1913
Speaks on The Relation of the Universe and the Individual before a considerable audience at Caxton Hall in the evening – the first of a series of lectures organised by Quest Society.
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The audience

19th May, 1913
The audience includes May Sinclair, Sturge Moore, Ernest Rhys.
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Thanks from Anderson

22nd May, 1913
Anderson writes him a grateful letter thanking him for calling on him.
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Realisation of Love

23rd May, 1913
Invited by Dr. Carpenter, Rabindranath goes to Oxford and gives an address on Realisation of Love at manchester College before a "brilliant and awe-inspired crowd of professors, dons and undergraduates."
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Robert Bridges

23rd May, 1913
Robert Bridges with his son and Herbert Fisher are in the audience.
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Shahid Suhrawardy

23rd May, 1913
Shahid Suhrawardy of the Oxford Majliss of Indian students writes that the poet is given a "large reception" by the Majliss the same day in the evening.
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Poet

24th May, 1913
Rabindranath meets Georgina Maxmuller over lunch the next day.
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Returns

24th May, 1913
Rabindranath returns to London.
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Soul Consciousness at Caxton hall

26th May, 1913
Delivers the second lecture of the series organised by Quest Society – Soul Consciousness at Caxton hall.
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The Problem of Evil

2nd June, 1913
Delivers the third lecture on The Problem of Evil.
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Sturge Moore

3rd June, 1913
Invited by Moore, Rabindranath arrives at his place, reads Chitra and discusses the translations with him.
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The Problem of Self

9th June, 1913
Delivers the fourth lecture on The Problem of Self.
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Bertha E. Pearson

9th June, 1913
Mother of William – a devotee of the poet – meets the poet.
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Reads The King of the Dark Chamber

10th June, 1913
Reads The King of the Dark Chamber before a distinguished and large audience at Rothenstein's house.
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Felicitation

14th June, 1913
Poet is felicitated at a fine reception, given by Indians residing in Britain at Criterian Restaurant.
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Gathering of 300 people

14th June, 1913
More than 300 people gather at the Restaurant and the crowd includes Gokhale, Sir Sankaran Nayar, M.A. Jinnah, Sarojini Naidu, etc.
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Mrs. Naidu

14th June, 1913
Rabindranath is garlanded by Mrs. Naidu.
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Poet regales the audience

14th June, 1913
Poet regales the audience with a song.
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Lyceum Club

17th June, 1913
Poet is again felicitated at the Lyceum Club.
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Lecture

17th June, 1913
Delivers the fifth lecture on Realisation in Love at Caxton Hall.
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Attends meeting of the Indian Women's Education Association

19th June, 1913
Speaks at a meeting of the Indian Women's Education Association held at Sir Krishnagovinda Gupta's residence.
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Sarojini Naidu

19th June, 1913
Sarojini Naidu also speaks here.
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The last lecture of the Quest series

19th June, 1913
Delivers the sixth and last lecture of the Quest series on The Realisation of Brahma at Kensington Town hall.
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Realisation in Action

21st June, 1913
Delivers another lecture on Realisation in Action at Brahmasamaj, Nottinghill Gate.
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Swedish translation

22nd June, 1913
From Norway Andrea Butenschon writes to the poet offering to translate the Gitanjali into Swedish. The translation will be out before the announcement of the Nobel award in 1913.
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Admitted to Dutches Nursing Home

29th June, 1913
Admitted to Dutches Nursing Home. Undergoes surgery for removal of piles. Released towards the end of July.
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Writes seven Poems

July, 1913
Even when confined to the nursing home he writes quite a few short poems.
  • Eka ek sunyamatra4th July,1913
  • Bechhe laba sab4th July,1913
  • Sab-cheye bhakti jar4th July,1913
  • Darpane jahare dekhi4th July,1913
  • Apani apna cheye6th July,1913
  • Agun jwalita jabey7th July,1913
  • Hey priya, dukkher beshe7th July,1913
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Post Office

10th July, 1913
At the behest of Yeats and Lady Gregory, Abbey Theatre Company stages poet's Post Office and Synge's The well of the Saints at Court Theatre, London.
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Lilian Jagoe

10th July, 1913
Lilian Jagoe is brilliant as Amal.
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Sturge Moore sees the performance

10th July, 1913
Poet's English friends go to see the performance-- Sturge Moore among them.
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Sturge Moore writes to the poet

12th July, 1913
He writes to the poet--"I watched your lovely little play towards the end through tears." London press favourably reviews the performance.
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Books

July, 1913
After his release from the nursing home the poet is naturely eager to speed up the publication of his forthcoming books and begins to rely more on sturge Moore as Yeats seems to have lost something of his early exuberant enthusiasm.
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Translation

July, 1913
The translations of Chitra, The Gardener, The Crescent Moon are brushed up with Moore's assistance.
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Dutch translation

1913
The noted Dutch poet Dr.Frederik Van Eeden writes him two ardent letters praising his poetry and seeking his permission to translate Gitanjali into Dutch.
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A wonderful reply

9th August, 1913
Rabindranath writes him a very moving letter in reply where he says inter alia--"Very often I think and feel that I am like a flute--the flute that cannot talk but when the breath is upon it, can sing…" Soon a life-long friendship grows between them. They will meet in Holland during poet's continental tour. His Dutch translation of the Gitanjali will appear on the same day that the Nobel award is announced--13th November, 1913. Andre Gide's French translation of the Gitanjali with its famous introduction will appear in early 1914.
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Poet is tired

17th August, 1913
He's now thoroughly tired of the whole business of " literary craftsmanship, this weighing of words and expressions" as he puts it in a letter written to Rothenstein and longs for his school in Bolpur in India.
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Three Songs

24th August, 1913
He writes three songs in a day.
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Two Songs

25th August, 1913
Writes two more songs the next day.
  • Bhorer bela kakhan eshey 25th August, 1913
  • Praney kshusir toofan 25th August, 1913
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Farewell

26th August, 1913
At a farewell dinner given him by his English friends prior to his departure for India Yeats speaks very movingly, Rothenstein presides.
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Jeeban jakhan chhilo phuler moto

27th August, 1913
Writes yet another song--the last one penned in England--Jeeban jakhan chhilo phuler moto.
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Moore is convinced

1913
Moore is now convinced of Rabindranath's supremacy as a world poet, sends his-as it turns out-decisive recommendation to the Nobel Committee--" As a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature of the United Kingdom, I have the honour to propose the name of Rabindra Nath Tagore as a person qualified in my opinion, to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature."
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A small dinner

2nd September, 1913
Rothenstein and Yeats arrange a small dinner in his honour on the night before he sails for India.
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Each guest is asked to sing his national anthem

2nd September, 1913
Rothenstein recalls amusingly that after dinner each guest is asked to sing his national anthem. No one manages to sing their anthem from beginning to end--not even Rabindranath, nor Yeats.
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Euston Station

3rd September, 1913
A touching scene unfolds on a platform of Euston Station where poet arrives to take a train to Liverpool with numerous Indian students turning up to bid farewell and offer pranaam. His English friends also bid him farewell.
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Ship

4th September, 1913
Boards the City of Lahore and sails for India. He is accompanied by Kalimohan Ghosh. Sukumar Ray comes on board at Naples.
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Poems/songs at sea

September, 1913
A few couplets apart, writes three songs aboard.
  • Bhelar moto bukey tani 15th September, 1913
  • Jani go din jabey 18th September, 1913
  • Noi e madhur khela 19th September, 1913
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Lands in Bombay

27th September, 1913
Lands in Bombay (now Mumbai), is greeted by admirers.
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At Howrah railway station

29th September, 1913
At Howrah railway station he's received and garlanded by a huge "Bande mataram" chanting crowd which includes leading city intellectuals also.
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Santiniketan

29th September, 1913
Leaves for Santiniketan the same day.
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Valmiki Pratibha

30th September, 1913
The students of the Brahmacharyasram welcome him back home with a performance of the Valmiki Pratibha.
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Kalidas Nag

30th September, 1913
Who has also arrived meets the poet for the first time.
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Letter to Somendrachandra Devbarma

12th October, 1913
Savouring again the bracing solitude of Santiniketan he writes to Somendrachandra Devbarma in USA--"I have received a great deal of honour and felicitations both at home and abroad, but nothing is comparable to the baptism that takes pace here every day in this clear light of the open sky."
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Five Songs

October, 1913
Writes five songs in October in Santiniketan.
  • Jadi prem diley na praney 14th October, 1913
  • Nitya tomar je phool photey 15th October, 1913
  • Amar je asey kachhey 18th October, 1913
  • Amar mukher katha tomar 19th October, 1913
  • Kebol thakis sarey sarey 22th October, 1913
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Gardener

8th October, 1913
The Gardener, his second English book of translated poems is published by Macmillan, & Co., London.
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Gardener is received less enthusiastically in the west

October, 1913
Gardener is dedicated to Yeats and though the range and variety of themes here is more varied than that of Gitanjali, it is received less enthusiastically in the west. Rabindranath takes it in his stride (as evident in letter to Rothenstein written 7th November).
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Calcutta University recommends the conferment of D. Lit. on Tagore

28th October, 1913
Led by its illustrious VC Ashutosh Mukherjee, the syndicate of the university at a special session recommends the conferment of D. Lit. honoris causa on Rabindranath barely a fortnight before the announcement of the Nobel award.
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Nobel Prize for Literature

14th November, 1913
Rabindranath is awarded the Nobel Prize for literature (1913). The evening newspaper The Empire, Kolkata, breaks the news as GREAT HONOUR FOR/TAGORE./NOBEL PRIZE CONFERRED./” LARGEST CONTRIBUTION TO/THE COMMON GOOD.”/ (REUTER'S SERVICE.)/LONDON, THURSDAY.
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Great jubilation in Kolkata and Santiniketan

14th November, 1913
Great jubilation in Kolkata and Santiniketan. Poet is snowed under with telegrams and felicitations.
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Senate of Calcutta University accepts the recommendation

15th November, 1913
The senate of the university accepts the syndicate recommendation to confer honorary D. Lit on the poet.
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Imbroglio

23rd November, 1913
More than five hundred admirers and devotees of the poet go down to Santiniketan in a special train to felicitate and honour him. Jagadishchandra Bose presides, Hirendanath Dutta reads the message. Rabindranath says in reply --"I lack the ability to fully accept the honour which you have come to offer me today in the name of the entire country..." The guests leave in anger and dismay declining the ample refreshments arranged for them.
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Publication of books by Macmillan & Co.

November, 1913
The Crescent Moon and Sadhana: The Realisation of Life published by Macmillan & Co., London. The latter is dedicated to Ernest Rhys.
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Writes three songs while in Santiniketan

1913
Writes three songs during his brief stay in Santiniketan.
  • Lukiye asho andhar ratey 30th November, 1913
  • Amar kantha tanre dakey 1st December, 1913
  • Amar sakal kanta dhanya korey 1st December, 1913
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Andrews & Pearson

5th December, 1913
Sail for South Africa to take part in the Satyagraha movement being led by M.K. Gandhi there against racist discrimination. Rabindranath goes down to the steamer to see them off. Poet leaves Kolkata for Shilaidaha.
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J.R. Mackdonald

10th December, 1913
Member of the Royal Commission on the Public Services in India (and later prime minister of Britain) -- J.R. Mackdonald -- visits the Santiniketan vidyalaya.
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British ambassador receives Nobel Prize on behalf of poet

10th December, 1913
The British ambassador to Sweden, Mr. Clive receives the Prize on behalf of the poet and sends it to Lord Carmichael, governor of Bengal for presentation to Rabindranath.
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Translation of Chokher Bali

December, 1913
Surendranath translates the first four chapters of Chokher Bali (printed in Modern Review -- Jan, 1914).
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Wedding of Sukumar Ray and Suprabha Devi

13th December, 1913
Poet returns to Kolkata to be present at the wedding of Sukumar Ray and Suprabha Devi.
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Santiniketan

20th December, 1913
Goes to Santiniketan for three days.
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Gabo tomar soorey

22nd December, 1913
Writes the song – Gabo tomar soorey dao se beenayantra.
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7th Poush

22nd December, 1913
7th Poush is celebrated at the ashram with more than usual fervour because the poet is attending after a year's interval.
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Tagore receives honorary degree of Dlit from Calcutta University

26th December, 1913
Poet will receive the degree at a special convocation held at Governor's House, Kolkata from chancellor and viceroy lord Hardinge who will say--"…I can only hope that the retiring disposition of our Bengal poet will forgive us for thus dragging him into publicity once more and recognise with due resignation that he must endure the penalties of greatness."
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Three Songs

December, 1913
Writes three songs in two days.
  • Prabhu tomar beena jemni bajey 29th December, 1913
  • Tomai amai milan hobe boley 30th December, 1913
  • Jeevan shrotey ddheuer parey 30th December, 1913
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