who reshaped his region's literature
. Author of Gitanjali
and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first non-European Nobel laureate by earning the 1913 Prize in Literature
. In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; his seemingly mesmeric persona, floccose locks, and empyreal garb garnered him a prophet-like aura in the West.
The truth comes as conqueror only because we have lost the art of receiving it as guest.
God, the Great Giver, can open the whole universe to our gaze in the narrow space of a single land.
My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.
I thought that my invincible power would hold the world captive, leaving me in a freedom undisturbed. Thus night and day I worked at the chain with huge fires and cruel hard strokes. When at last the work was done and the links were complete and unbreakable, I found that it held me in its grip.
When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders.
The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps— does anybody know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumor that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning.
In this playhouse of infinite forms I have had my play, and here have I caught sight of him that is formless.
All the great utterances of man have to be judged not by the letter but by the spirit — the spirit which unfolds itself with the growth of life in history.