What is a summary of Song 36 from Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The following is "Song 36" from Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali Song Offerings.

This is my prayer to thee, my lord - strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart. Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows. Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service. Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might. Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles. And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

As the only Indian poet to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature in 1913, Tagore is renowned for his spiritual writings which were embedded with magic and elegance.

The above song is found in Tagore's Gitanjali Song Offerings. This text is a collection of poems, 103 to be exact, which Tagore translated from his original language into English. The text was he one responsible for his Nobel Prize.

To summarize Song 36, one must understand the utter spirituality of Tagore.

In Gitanjali Song Offerings, it is evident that Tagore regards his deity as an ever-present companion. In Tagore's fiction and his plays, it is equally clear that he sees life as a struggle between good and evil. Neither creed nor class can guarantee virtue.

Therefore, Song 36 is a prayer to Tagore's god whom he gives all power over his life to. Tagore is asking for the strength to be a good man, live a honorable life, and live for his god.

This song can be paralleled to the "Lord's Prayer". Here, those of Christian faith ask of God to give them the strength to live good Christian lives.

"Our Father in heaven,hallowed be your name.Your kingdom come,your will be done,on earth as it is in heaven.Give us this day our daily bread,and forgive us our debts,as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation,but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6: 9-13)