About Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore was and remains one of India’s most distinguished cultural figures.

Born in 1861, he spent most of the first 51 years of his life in Calcutta, where he wrote poetry, fiction, and stage plays, and occasionally acted. In 1912, while on a trip to England, he showed some poems from his most recent collection, the Gitanjali, to his friend William Rothstein, who enthusiastically passed them on to W.B. Yeats. Within a year Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. He would go on to accept and renounce a knighthood, write the national anthems of India and Bangladesh, and meet such figures as Albert Einstein, Robert Frost, and H.G. Wells.

When he died in 1941 he left behind an enormous body of work encompassing poetry, fiction, painting, drama, politics, music, and philosophy—products of his belief in a tolerant society with a healthy grounding in scientific principles joined with an appreciation of life’s mysteries.