My Life in My Words

My Life in My Words

Product ID: 19497

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Author: Rabindranath Tagore
Uma Das Gupta/
Foreword/Introductio: Uma Das Gupta
Publisher: Penguin/Viking
Year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 395
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670999164


It is not easy to know oneself, I have made different attempts to make sense of my life, The only thing I have been able to conclude about myself is that I am a poet, nothing else, no matter all the other things I may have done with my life.

The Renaissance man of modern India, Rabindranath Tagore put his country on the literary map of the world when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. Though known primarily as a poet and writer, Tagore was also a painter, composer and philosopher, an educationist and rural reformer.

My Life in My Words is, quite literally, Tagore on Tagore. Uma Das Gupta draws upon the vast repertoire of Tagore’s writings—his autobiographical works, speeches, letters and poems—to create a vivid portrait of the life and times of one of India’s most influential cultural icons.

The result is a rare glimpse into the world of Rabindranath Tagore: his family of pioneering entrepreneurs, saints, poets and composers who shaped his world view; the personal tragedies that influenced some of his most eloquent verse; his ground-breaking work in education and social reform; his constant endeavour to bring about a synthesis of the East and the West and his humanitarian approach to politics; and his rise to the status of an international poet.

Meticulously researched and sensitively edited, this unique autobiography provides an incomparable insight into the mind of a genius.


Rabindranath Tagore made no distinction between his art and his life. We cannot know and understand one without the other, and with this beautifully judged anthology Uma Das Gupta gives us intimate access to both. It tells a story of courage, sensitivity, generosity, imagination and energy, in which Bengalis and Indians can take special pride but which can make us all, in the end, proud to be human. Few of us can live as fully and nobly as Tagore, but reading his life in his own words can inspire us at least to try.
-William Radice

It is totally new idea to bring together Rabindranath’s autobiographical writing in chronological order. I wondered whether it works, Tagore being so poetically inexact about his own life. Now I am convinced. It has been a huge task to bring the mass of letters, autobiographical essays and poems into a sensitive order – Indeed a work of love!
-Martin Kampehen





My Family and the Changing Times
My Boyhood Days
My Father and Mother
A New Chapter in My Life
Leaving Home: Ahmedabad and England, 1878-79
My Education
Writing Poetry
Restless Years, 1883-90
On the Threshold of thirty
My Wife and Children
Letters to My Children
Starting my School at Santiniketan, 1901
My Experience of the Swadeshi Movement
Gitanjali and the Nobel Prize, 1913
My Travels in Japan and the USA, 1916-17
Renouncing the Knighthood, and My Arguments against Non-Cooperation
A World in One Nest: Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan
Visva-Bharati Sriniketan - A Scheme for Village Reconstruction
In China, 1924
An Unexpected Stop in Argentina
Gandhiji and I
In Europe Again, 1926
An Uneasy though Versatile Period, 1927-31
More Travel, More Poetry, More Drama
Crisis and Hope: My Last Years, 1937-41


On Myself
On Religion
On Nature
On My Country
On British Rule in India
To My Friends
From My Poems and Songs