Gitanjali 35- Poem Summary
Gitanjali which was translated as “Song offering” is a collection of 103 English prose poems written by Rabindranath Tagore and published in 1912. This translation was published with an introduction by William Butler Yeats.The original collection of 156/157 poems in Bengali was published on August 14, 1910 which introduced a period of intensive song-writing that is now called Tagore’s Gitanjali Period. ‘Where the mind is without fear’ is a free verse poem of prayer to God for freedom from rulers that was included in his work Naibedya. This poem was written at the time of British rule in India.
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.
The Poet prays to God for the countrymen that they should live without fear of oppression in their mind. Instead of that, they should hold their head up high with dignity. He wishes for the cost free knowledge(education) for everyone in the world which is not separated into fragments (caste, colour, religion and gender). People should not be divided with prejudices and superstitions, as unity is considered to be their strength. Everyone around should be truthful without fear. Words of truth should come from the depth of the heart (Freedom of Speech). People should work hard with all their efforts (without laziness) to reach their goal (Independence) and continue to reach its perfection.
Here in this poem, the Poet has represented clear stream of reason as logical thinking and dead habits as superstitious beliefs. As per the representation he says, reason should not get lost in the way of desert of preconceived beliefs. People should overcome the narrowness of their mind with broad open thinking which will eventually lead them to remarkable actions. In the final line, the Poet prays to God by addressing him as "Father" and asks him to awaken his countrymen in the heaven of freedom.