The Irish poet W. B. Yeats wrote the introduction to the second edition of Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali (Song Offerings):

Flowers and rivers, the blowing of conch-shells, the heavy rain of the Indian July, or the parching heat, are images of the moods of that heart in union or in separation; and a man sitting in a boat upon a river playing upon a lute, like one of those figures full of mysterious meaning in a Chinese picture, is God Himself. A whole people, a whole civilization, immeasurably strange to us, seems to have been taken up into this imagination; and yet we are not moved because of its strangeness, but because we have met our own image, as though we had walked in Rossetti’s Willow Wood, or heard, perhaps for the first time in literature, our voice as in a dream.

Yeats also said that Gitanjali “stirred my blood as nothing has for years.”

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