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‘My Heaven’ is a short poem written by Rabindranath Tagore. It describes an ideal nation, how people ought to be. The poet’s persona prays to God for such a dream of his to come true.
About the poet:
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) was a prominent poet who wrote both in English and Bengali. In 1913, he was a awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his work ‘Gitanjali’. After being knighted in 1951, he renounced it in 1991 after the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. Famous works of his include Gitanjali, Ghare-Baire and India’s national anthem ‘Jana Gana Mana’.
The theme that can be distinctly noted is that of patriotism. Each line of the poem reveals the deep love and yearning the poet persona has for his nation, India, and his vision of freedom. Spirituality is also a theme to be noted in the poem where the persona is seen to have unwavering faith in God.
This short poem is written in free verse. The total of ten lines of this poem are written of varied length and are encompassed in a single stanza. It has no rhyme scheme.
Explanation of the poem:
where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; where knowledge is free; where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; where words come out from the depth of truth; where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action – Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake
The first and only stanza of this poem begins with how the poet’s persona wants the people to be in order to achieve freedom in his vision of an ideal nation. He states that such a dream would be possible when people live without fear and are proud of their nation. An ideal nation, the persona states, would also be one where it is not divided and where the citizens are honest.
Again, such a nation is possible only when the tireless hard work of the people aims for perfection and when their steadfast reasoning does not get lost in the mundaneness of their routine. Finally, he states that apart from all this, the minds of the people should be filled with faith of God and their thoughts and actions must be driven by Him for the ideal nation to attain its ideal freedom.
The poem ends with the persona himself praying to God for such a dream of his to come true.
This is a poem that has a deep sense of patriotism. It elaborates on how a nation and its people ought to be for them to attain true freedom and how they must not stray from the path of God.