Indian Poet Gulzar on Translating Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore is a legend. My mother, who knows Bangla well, has always Gitanjalimaintained that the poet’s own English translations of his masterpiece, Gitanjali, feel clumsy and pale in comparison to the original text. Poet Gulzar talks about his translations into Hindi of two Tagore poetry collections for children.

To explain the meaning in a line is easy. You are not translating a word, it’s the meter and then shades of those words. A word has many shades and you have to choose the correct shade out of it. You won’t find that meaning in a dictionary.

2 thoughts on “Indian Poet Gulzar on Translating Tagore

  1. This is not an image of Rabindranath Tagore. The photo has unfortunately gone viral as someone incorrectly uploaded it onto Wikipedia. It was taken circa 1850 before his birth and is a portrait of a child from the cast of scribes. Around the child’s neck you will see a string upon which a pen is tied. I this photo several years back on old Indian photographs. (https://www.oldindianphotos.in/), There is no resemblance between this child and Tagore whose only childhood photo is well known. You will not find this photo in ANY of the many published archival volumes of his life because it is not him. Please check reputable published sources before posting photos.

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