The Fugitive – Beautiful Life Poems by Rabindranath Tagore

The Fugitive: Beautiful Life Poems by Rabindranath Tagore (Cover Illustration).

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Title: The Fugitive – Beautiful Life Poems
Author: Rabindranath Tagore
Level: Beginner (Great starter book for readers new to Tagore)

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Book Summary – The Fugitive: Life Poems by Tagore

“A father’s love, like God’s rain, does not judge, but is poured forth from an abounding source.”
– Rabindranath Tagore in ‘The Fugitive’

“The Fugitive” is a breathtaking collection of life poems by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore that is sure to pull at your heart-strings. The verses, which take the form of personal musings, chart a variegated course through the eternal emotions of love, sorrow, honour and betrayal.

Many of the poems in “The Fugitive” are personal narratives of Rabindranath Tagore’s: his travels through the Bengali countryside, his tender interactions with his daughter, and his love for Nature and the Supreme Spirit.

In three of the prose-verses: Kacha & Devayani, Karna & Kunti and Somaka & Ritvik, Tagore portrays emotional scenes from tales found in the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata. Structured as plays, his simple narrative makes it easy to identify with the circumstances in which the story’s characters found themselves thousands of years ago.

Tagore writes in a simple, easy to follow style and yet manages to beautifully capture the most complex of emotions. It is easy to lose ones heart in his words because they ring so true – drawn from the well of his own life experiences and perhaps of those around him.

“Let your life lightly dance on the edges of time, like dew on the tip of a leaf.”
– Rabindranath Tagore in ‘The Gardener’

The poignant poems in this book serve to remind us of our own lives – of the daily joys, hopes, sorrows and struggles. They remind us that although there are times when life’s path is steep and the journey lonely – in reality we are not the only travelers. The same path has been tread upon, by people much like us, in the ages past.

For human emotions, like the seasons are eternal. And although the records of many of these travelers are lost in time, a great man born 150 years ago, on experiencing many of the same feelings as us, was courageous enough to share them in this book.

Enclosed below is a beautiful sample of one of the many evocative poems found in this book:


I was walking along a path over-grown with grass, when suddenly I heard from some one behind, “See if you know me?”

I turned round and looked at her and said, “I cannot remember your name.”

She said, “I am that first great Sorrow whom you met when you were young.”

Her eyes looked like a morning whose dew is still in the air.

I stood silent for some time till I said, “Have you lost all the great burden of your tears?”

She smiled and said nothing. I felt that her tears had had time to learn the language of smiles.

“Once you said,” she whispered, “that you would cherish your grief for ever.”

I blushed and said, “Yes, but years have passed and I forget.”

Then I took her hand in mine and said, “But you have changed.”

“What was sorrow once has now become peace,” she said.

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