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daisyamerica llc is a publishing house whose purpose is to help and nurture creative artists across all disciplines find the maximum audience for their work. It exists to publish and promote the work of artists whose work reflects core energy known as kundalini, paramchaitanya, rhu, ruach or in Christian terminology, the Holy Spirit. It is informed by the teachings of H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the greatest spiritual personality, who gave en masse Self-realization spontaneously and effortlessly and whose mission was to emancipate the whole of humanity in preparation for the coming Age of Aquarius, the Age of Satya Yuga.

THE WANT FOR WONDERS: Rabindranath Tagore

Richard Payment

revised 25 August 2014

 

In 1913, a bridge was built from east India to north London. Structural supports rose from both Stockholm and from Dublin. The bridge linked East and West. It was a wonder. 

Colonial rule under the British Raj had brought spices to Britain. Lands for tea plantations had been secured. Ivory and cotton were followed by the tender tips of the darjeeling leaves, cherished in every club. Until then, everything the ships had brought had been material, supplies and staples. The bridge transported something new. It was poetry — spiritual, enlightened and deeply devotional.

London was ready for Rabindranath Tagore. He was that bridge. Tall and smart, exotic, foreign but not alien, Tagore spoke of something the English knew from within. It was a spirituality beyond churches and temples. 

In Tagore, they could see a poet, a romantic not so very different from Wordsworth or Coleridge. But here also was a man who was an ambassador from the East. It was a wisdom for which many hungered. Both devotional and articulate, Tagore came from the Bengal region of India. He knew of tigers and elephants, the mystic and transcendent. And he also spoke English with eloquence and grace. He was gentle and maintained a vision that crossed all boundaries, all nations. What followed was a kind of Tagoremania.

In a new novel titled The Want for Wonders, a seeker of truth travels the world in a search for wisdom. His hope is to regain a single moment seeded in a childhood memory. Rabindranath Tagore and William Blake, a sacred tree and the memory of a woman on a beach each in turn light the path of his travels.

The book also tells the story of Tagore's introduction to literary London. It was the opening of a floodgate that continues to reward us to this day. Irish poet W.B. Yeats, so enamoured by Tagore's verse, read selected verses in a Hampstead home to an audience of select and influential literati. The words were received in silence, the applause reserved and polite. Tagore, aghast, felt he had insulted the language of his hosts, that he had fallen short of the standards and expectations. 

It was only the next day that the truth came: hand-written notes, letters and calls. Simply, the audience had been dumbstruck, literally lost for words, so taken by the devotion, the power, the wonder of Tagore's vision that they could not cheer. They could not express their emotion. These were Englishmen. They could not shout "Bravo!" They could not cry out in awe. Only with time did they come to expect their appreciation to him in private or by post.

Events followed quickly. Based largely on a thin volume of verse that Tagore titled Gitanjali – Song Offerings, the Nobel Prize committee bent their own rules. These were not Bengali poems translated to English, they decided. These were entirely new, selected, recomposed and set to English by the poet himself. The masterful collection qualified for the Nobel. For the first time, the awarding of the prize stepped out of the tight circle of Europe. The literature prize was awarded to Rabindranath Tagore.

His words were hailed as "Psalms of David for our time." In crowded halls across Britain and Europe and then America, Tagore spoke on topics such as the individual's  connection to the universe, love and the eternal Self. For the first time, the west saw beyond the surface. Through Tagore, they were able to touch the spirit of India, the inner truth.

In The Want for Wonders, it is this same desire that drives the story: a hunger for meaning, connection to the eternal and a single want — to see the wonder of it all.

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Lovely piece of writing - and it'll be a big help in selling the book - here are some suggestions for your consideration:

 

The bridge transported something new. It was poetry — spiritual, enlightened and deeply devotional.

 

possibly make it - The bridge transported something new, poetry — spiritual, enlightened and devotional. Read both aloud and see which you prefer.

no change made

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It was a spirituality beyond churches and temples.  - should there be a comma after spirituality?

no change made

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In Tagore, they could see a poet, a romantic not so very different from Wordsworth or Coleridge. But here also was a man who was an ambassador from the East. It was a wisdom - surely it must be - his was a wisdom?

This is the very point being made: it is not Togore's wisdom, he is only the bridge. The wisdom is that of the East.

no change made

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Tagore came from the Bengal. - you may be correct but I've only heard of it as Bengal - was it called - the Bengal?

Both are correct because "Bengal" is the name of the state, "the Bengal" is the region. (It's like the way we say "the Congo."

action taken: "the Bengal" changed to "the Bengal region of India."

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 "The Want for Wonders," - your call but I personally prefer The Want for Wonders - looks more elegant on the page to my eye.

action taken: italics, not quotes

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each in turn light the path of his travels. - seems inelegant to me - you're writing poetically - maybe - each in turn enlighten the path of his travels.

"enlighten" changes the meaning. 

no change made

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Irish poet W.B. Yeats, - you wouldn't say English playwright William Shakespeare - so - W.B. Yeats I think

Irish is there in part to explain why Dublin is mentioned in the first paragraph.

Perhaps "Dublin poet" might be better?

no change made for now

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hand-written notes, cards and calls. - cards? - maybe easier to say - hand-written notes and calling cards.

calling cards are more like business cards. My understanding from reading the accounts of Tagore and the others is that members of the audience were writing at length.

change made: "cards" becomes "letters" – "hand-written notes, letters and calls"

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"Gitanjali" - see above - Gitanjali perhaps?

change made: italics not quotes 

The proper full name of the book is "Gitanjali – Song Offerings" so this change is made also.

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the prize stepped out of the tight circle of Europe. - you might have run away with yourself - prizes don't step out surely?

change made: the awarding of the prize stepped out of the tight circle of Europe

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the west  - earlier you wrote - the East - so to be consistent - the West

no change made

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"The Want for Wonders," - again - The Want for Wonders,

change made: italics not quotes