cover image Song Offerings

Song Offerings

Rabindranath Tagore, Joe Winter. Anvil Press Poetry, $15.95 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-85646-311-2

Of the 50 books of poems Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) wrote in Bengali, Gitanjali, or Song Offerings, may be the most beloved by readers of that language and singers, for Tagore made good on the title and turned them into songs. Tagore's own prose translations of half the book, plus other work, led to his Nobel Prize in 1913; Joe Winter, a London ex-pat now of Calcutta, preserves the original chronological sequence of 157 poems with his rhymed translations the first complete set of translations to appear in English. The rhymes stress many of the poems' images, but having them together overcomes most objections. ( Apr.)