What is the meaning of Song No. 40 from Gitanjali?

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willowswriter eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poet in song 40 in "The Gitanjali," by Tagore, is in the mood of despair. We don't know this at the start of the poem, where the poet is asking God to rain on his "arid heart." He doesn't even care if the rain comes in the form of a fierce storm; he just needs relief.

"Send thy angry storm, dark with death, if it is thy wish, and with lashes of lightning startle the sky from end to end."

All the poet desires is that his overwhelming despair, which burns within him, be drowned in a healing rain.

The final line of the poem is that last entreaty the poet makes to God—asking for both a cleansing wrath of the Father, and at the same, the tender heart of the Mother.

"Let the cloud of grace bend low from above like the tearful look of the mother on the day of the father's wrath."

Read the study guide:
Gitanjali Song Offerings

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