Friday, August 31, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #48 Tagore's Gitanjali

New Logo Weekend Meditation Autumn 2018

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday September 2nd at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at the first Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation of September 2018. Meteorological autumn starts this weekend on September 1st, so I have created a new logo for our CD Weekend Meditation. The above image shows you the beauty of colorful autumn leaves and those colors are to me what makes autumn my favorite season, maybe it's that unconscious connection with Basho, because he loved autumn dearly not only for it's colors, but also for the beauty of the moon and the deeper meaning of "letting go" and departure.

Let me first tell you what September is bringing us this year. Maybe you can remember that I asked you to choose between a whole month about Rabindranath Tagore or a whole month of Tan Renga Challenges. I understand that you all had some difficulties with this choice, so I have decided (as Xenia proposed) to bring both themes into this month. This month we will have all Tan Renga Challenges as our regular episodes, but the weekend meditations will be all wonderful poems by Rabindranath Tagore. Starting today with his world famous Gitanjali poem(s).

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

The weekend meditations will be all "distillations". I will give you a poem by Tagore and I challenge you to create haiku or tanka from it or bring the "long poem" back to its essential meaning and write a haiku (or tanka) about it.

The Logo I Used For This Special Feature Here At CDHK
Let me first tell you a little bit more about Rabindranath Tagore.

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), was a Bengali poet, short-story writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, and painter who introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He was highly influential in introducing Indian culture to the West and vice versa, and he is generally regarded as the outstanding creative artist of early 20th-century India. In 1913 he became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

One of his most famous works is Gītāñjali, a collection of poetry. It was published in India in 1910. Tagore then translated it into prose poems in English, as Gitanjali: Song Offerings, and it was published in 1912 with an introduction by William Butler Yeats.

Medieval Indian lyrics of devotion provided Tagore’s model for the poems of Gītāñjali. He also composed music for these lyrics. Love is the principal subject, although some poems detail the internal conflict between spiritual longings and earthly desires. Much of his imagery is drawn from nature, and the dominant mood is minor-key and muted. The collection helped win the Nobel Prize for Literature for Tagore in 1913, but some later critics did not agree that it represents Tagore’s finest work.

Gitanjali, song offerings (cover)
Gitanjali, Song Offerings ... it sounds amazing, but can you bring it back to its essential meaning? Can you bring the following poem back to its essential and create a haiku (or tanka) with it? Well that's the goal for this weekend meditation ...

The time that my journey takes is long and the way of it long.
I came out on the chariot of the first gleam of light, 
and pursued my voyage through the wildernesses of worlds
leaving my track on many a star and planet.
It is the most distant course that comes nearest to thyself,
and that training is the most intricate which leads to the utter simplicity of a tune.
The traveller has to knock at every alien door to come to his own, 
and one has to wander through all the outer worlds to reach 
the innermost shrine at the end.
My eyes strayed far and wide before 
I shut them and said `Here art thou!'
The question and the cry `Oh, where?' melt into tears of a thousand streams 
and deluge the world with the flood of the assurance `I am!'

© Rabindranath Tagore (taken from "Gitanjali")

A nice task for this weekend I think ... so have fun, be inspired and enjoy your weekend.

This weekend meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday September 2nd at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until September 9th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our first regular episode around that time too.

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