Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet, short-story writer, song composer, playwright, essayist, and painter who introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature.
In 1913 he became the first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West."
Tagore modernized Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures.His novels, stories, songs, dance dramas, and essays spoke to topics political and personal. Although Tagore wrote successfully in all literary genres, first of all, he was a poet.
Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced), and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works. Tagore's verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed—or panned—for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation. His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla.
Photo credit: Public property. Photo of Rabindranath Tagore was published in 1914 in Sweden in Les Prix Nobel 1913.