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Rabindranath Tagore
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Poet
    (May 7, 1861-August 7, 1941)
    Born in Kolkata, India
    Poet, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, essayist, songwriter and painter
    Poetry collections include 'The Songs of Bhanushingho Thakur' (1884), 'Manasi' ('The Ideal One,' 1890), 'Sonar Tari' ('The Golden Boat,' 1894), 'Gitanjali' ('Song Offerings,' 1910), 'Gitimalya' ('Wreath of Songs,' 1914) and 'Balaka' ('The Flight of Cranes,' 1916)
    Wrote the novels Ghare-Baire' ('The Home and the World,' 1916) and 'Yogayog' ('Crosscurrents,' 1929)
    Wrote the plays 'Raja' (1910), 'The Post Office' (1912), 'The Immovable' (1912), 'The Waterfall' (1922) and 'Red Oleanders' (1926)
    Composed the opera 'The Genius of Valmiki' (1881)
    Won the Nobel Prize in Literature (1913)
    He first published poems under a pseudonym, with the result that they were declared long-lost classics from the 17th century.
    He suffered bouts of depression, with one of the worst coming after his Nobel Prize win.
    He met Mussolini and declared, 'Without any doubt he is a great personality.'
    His translations of his own work were derided by W.B. Yeats, who said, 'Because he thought it more important to know English than to be a great poet, he brought out sentimental rubbish and wrecked his reputation.'
    His Nobel medal was stolen from a museum in India (2004).
    Because his mother died when he was young and his father travelled widely, he was largely raised by servants, who frequently beat him.
    One of his sons and one of his daughters died in childhood.
    He was the first non-Westerner to win a Nobel Prize.
    He was kinghted (1915).
    He renounced his knighthood to protest the Amritsar massacre, in which British soldiers fired on unarmed protestors (1919).
    He rebuked Mahatma Gandhi for suggesting that an earthquake was divine retribution for India's treatment of the untouchables caste.
    Songs he wrote were adopted as national anthems by India and Bangladesh.

Credit: C. Fishel


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