Rabindranath Tagore was given the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913 "for his deeply sensitive, fresh, and beautiful poem, with which, with consummate ability, he has made his poetic philosophy, articulated in his own English language, a part of Western literature."
This is how the official citation from the Nobel Foundation reads.
The work awarded the prize is Gitanjali, written in 1887. It is a collection of poems on religious themes, including songs inspired by Indian music. The title means "Mountain of Joy" in Bengali.
Gitanjali was followed by other notable works such as Chaitanya (1889), Buddha (1892), and Indra (1904). All these books were published between 1883 and 1920. They show the influence of European poetry on Tagore who tried to create a style that was both modern and appealing to an international audience.
Although he was one of the most important poets of India, it is fair to say that he is not widely known outside this country. This may be because many of his poems are in Sanskrit or Bengali which are foreign languages to most Europeans and Americans. But also because he was very concerned with promoting Hinduism as a way of life and spirituality among Indians and non-Indians alike, and not just celebrating Indian culture as some other writers have done before him and since then.
Tagore was given the Nobel Prize "for his deeply sensitive, fresh, and beautiful poem, through which he has made his poetic idea, articulated in his own English language, a part of Western literature."
The committee stated that Tagore's poems are remarkable for their elegance and beauty, as well as their spiritual depth and psychological acuity.
They added that Tagore's poetry has inspired many poets, musicians, and artists. And this shows us how important a poet is, because they can inspire people very easily just by writing words down on paper.
Nowadays, people often think of Nobel prizes as being given to important people who have done great things for society. But the first Nobel Prizes were actually given in 1901 - so they weren't exactly given to important people! They were given to scientists, writers, artists, and athletes who had been born within the last 30 years of the 18th century or the first 30 years of the 19th century.
So the fact that they gave it to someone who lived then rather than now means that they believed that they would still be able to learn something new from him. Also, they wanted to give a prize to someone who wasn't a European or American person, because at the time, most famous poets were Europeans or Americans.
Tagore, Rabindranath 1. Rabindranath Tagore-Nobel Literature Prize (1913) Rabindranath Tagore won the country's first Nobel Prize in 1913, while India was still a British territory. He was a poet, artist, and thinker who was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature.
He was born on March 2, 1861 in Chittagong, then part of the Bengal Presidency in British-ruled India. His parents were wealthy landowners who had strong political beliefs; they sent their son to Germany where he studied at the Stuttgart State Academy from 1879 to 1883. It was there that he learned to speak German fluently. They returned home after his father died when Rabindranath was only sixteen years old. He worked as a school teacher for a few months but soon decided to devote himself to writing and painting.
Rabindranath Tagore wrote more than 100 poems during his lifetime. Some of his famous works are Ghare Baire (Home Among the Hare Krishnas), Gitanjali (Song of Love), and Abhigyanoday (The Future Life). He also designed an album cover for the Indian musician Madam Saraswati. This is considered to be the first ever Nobel Prize winning work of art!
After independence in 1947, he became a national icon for Indians everywhere.
Biography of Rabindranath Tagore Rabindranath Tagore was a poet, musician, polymath, Ayurvedic scholar, and artist who reimagined music, Bengali literature, and Indian art in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Rabindranath Tagore was the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. The award was created by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel (1833–96) as a means of encouraging scientific progress and as an alternative to war as a means of resolving conflicts.
Tagore was born on April 23, 1861, in Chittagong, Bengal (now Bangladesh). His father was a wealthy lawyer who had strong ties with the British government, which is why the family could afford to live in luxurious surroundings. When Rabindranath was only six years old, his father died, leaving the family bankrupt. The children were sent to live with their uncle in Calcutta (Kolkata), where they would stay until they were older than 10 years old. During these years, Tagore didn't go to school but instead learned Sanskrit from private teachers and English from tutors. He also learned violin from an expert teacher when he was just eleven years old.
In 1875, when Tagore was twelve years old, his mother decided to move the family back to Chittagong because she felt like they had fallen victim to city life and wanted her children to have a normal childhood.
Tagore is most recognized as a poet, yet he was a multi-talented guy. On the one hand, he was the first Indian to get a Nobel Prize in literature, and on the other, he was a writer who also wrote and produced songs. He was a philosopher and educator who founded a university that questioned traditional schooling. He was a social reformer who fought for women's rights and abolished child labor among others.
As a young man, Tagore traveled widely and got interested in music, theater, and art. He visited England and Germany and came back with ideas about education that changed the face of teaching in India. These days, his alma mater functions under a new name but it still teaches according to the principles it inherited from him. He was also a musician who played sitar and violin. His compositions include hundreds of poems, songs, and tunes.
About a decade after he stopped writing poetry, Tagore won the Nobel Prize in Literature. He had been nominated twice before but never won. The prize made him famous all over Europe and America. He used the money to set up an educational institution in Calcutta (now Kolkata) called Visva-Bharati University where students from different backgrounds come together to learn about culture, science, and technology. Today, the university has more than 20,000 students and two hundred faculty members.
Tagore died at the age of 61 after suffering from tuberculosis.