Introduction

This poem is a prayer from the poet to God. He prays for God to give him the strength to do various things that will help him make his way through life and make this world a better place.

About the Poet

Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) was an Indian writer, composer, painter and poet from Bengal. In 1913, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for Gitanjali. He is renowned for his contributions to modern Indian literature as well as his songs and paintings.

Theme

The theme of this poem is a prayer to God to lend the poet strength.

Poem

This is my prayer to thee, my lord—-strike,
strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

The poet says that this is his prayer to his lord, or almighty God. He asks God to strike at the root of penury, or the lack of love and compassion, in his heart. He asks God to give him the strength to lightly bear his joys and sorrows and to make his love fruitful or successful in service of God and mankind. The poet also asks God to give him the strength to never disown the poor or give up before rude power and to raise his mind high above petty everyday things. Lastly, he asks God to give him the strength to surrender his strength to God’s will to love.