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Tagore Translations

Deliverance by Tagore

Tran (Deliverance)’ was first published in 1901 in a collection known as Naibedya (Offering to God). Here we present a translation from the Bengali poem as found in Sanchayita (Collection), a compilation of poems published by Visva-Bharati to mark the Tagore septuagenarian celebrations in 1931.

Art by Sohana Manzoor
Deliverance

From this hapless country, oh Benevolent One, 
Efface all petty fears —
Fears of society, governance and death. 
The rock-like burden borne by the impoverished and the weak,
This pain of being ground under dust, 
This endless abuse, reinforced each second,
This self-debasement, within and without,
This yoke of enslavement, terror, subjugation,
Is trod on again and again by many marching feet.
Beaten out of self-worth, pride —
Break this enormous pile of shame
With your foot. On this auspicious dawn,
Let us hold our heads high in the infinite sky 
Amidst the light of bounteousness and the heady breeze of freedom.

Subsequently, it was translated by Rabindranath Tagore himself as ‘Freedom from Fear’ and published in the Vishwa Bharati Journal in 1933; then, in Modern Review in 1934 according to Bichitra, an online Tagore valorium. It was first anthologised in Collected Poems and Plays of Rabindranath Tagore (Macmillan, London). The translation varies from the original Bengali poem with the last two lines missing completely.

(Translated by Mitali Chakravarty, edited by Sohana Manzoor on behalf of Borderless Journal. Thanks to Anasuya Bhar, Associate Professor of English and Dean of Postgraduate Studies, at St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College Kolkata University, for helping with the research. Also thanks to Fakrul Alam and Aruna Chakravarti for their feedback.)

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL

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