Meaning of Proshno by Rabindranath Tagore

The poem proshno is written by Famous Bengali Poet Rabindranath Tagore. In this poem he arises questions towards humanity and the hideous deeds committed by men to slander the same. This poem is famed throughout the world for the use of its language and the poignancy of the verse.

1. Structure
This poem is rhymed. The rhyme is not as frivolous as a limerick. Tagore had a profound knowledge and hold over the use of verse and the creation of imagery. In this poem he uses the dactylic meter of poetic writings and thereby creates a beautiful version of poetry in Bengali. The dactylic verse was very popular in the ancient Greek theatre. Tagore inherits the same from the writing of a great saint named "wolfgang Mehrring" of Germany. This poem was dedicated to the immortal souls who were the martyrs of the First World War.

2. Background
The poem questions on the reason behind the utmost craze in man for the attainment of power. He says that what the need of this great race is. He connotes from his mind the visions which he had seen of destruction. He, on behalf of humanity asks the conjurer of this great earth that if this be the final ultimatum of the living beings then what the need to create the world was.
These poems were largely written during the time of the partition of Bengal. The stigma of the partition brought widespread destruction and aroused the senses of hatred and imfraternity among the people of the country. Tagore was largely affected by that. He was tormented at the idea that how can man be such brutal. Today too when the violence and the destruction crop in our day in and day out, this poem is evergreen and ever important.

3. Analysis
"bhogobaan tumiu juge juge doot pathhayechho bare are, dfoyaheen sangshare"
Meaning: the poet questions the lord at the very opening of the poem. He says that o lord you have sent the messengers of your heaven to us in every age. He says the world is "doyaheen" which means it is free of pity. Thus in the opening of the poem the poet makes us aware that the world that he shall be hence forth talking of shall be pitiless and brutal.

"tara bole gelo khama koro sobe bole gelo bhalobaso"
Meaning: he says that the messengers who were sent o the earth by the lord had devised to the residents of this universe that you must love each other and you must learn to forgive others.

"antar hote bidyesh bish nasho"
Meaning: the venom of hatred is immense. This stings the soul of ever man. The poet says that those great messengers of the lord had asked the residents of this world to eradicate the venom of abhorrence that resides in the hearts of men.

"boroniyo tara smaraniyo tara, tobuo bahir dare, aj e durdine phiranu tader byartho nomoskaare"
Meaning: the poet is very prolific at this stage. He is hurt. He is tormented. He says that those people, who had come as the connoisseurs of the lord to this earth were to be given reverence. They are the people who are to be remembered. Yet we, the ones infernal have made them return just from the courtyard of our houses in a failed gesture of shown off reverence. He refers the time then as "durdin" or ill times. He says that the moments when we have to make those important people return empty handed are stigmatized and hideous.

"ami je dekhechhi gopon hingsha kopot ratri chhaye henechhe nishhshohaye"
Meaning: the poet says that had seen the hatred is tormenting the destitute at the dark moments of the time. He comments that the sky is filled with the venomous attempts of the same. The night is full of conspiracy and killing. This torments the poet to a great extent.

"ami je dekhinu protikaarheen shokter aporadhhe, bicharer bani nirobe nibhrite kande"
Meaning: the poet has seen that the words of the justice are vehemently influenced by the so called elite people who have the powers. They influence the law and order and thus Law who is personified is crying in secrecy. He says that the words of law are stunned to see this situation where the ones who have power shall topple on them who are powerless; the impartial point of the law body is vandalized.

"ami je dekhinu torun balok unmaad hoye chhote"
Meaning: the poet recalls the young boy whom he had seen running like a mad man on the roads.

"ki jontronay morichhe pathhore nishphol mathha kute"
Meaning: he talks of the boy who is running insane on the roads. The boy is breaking his head on the stones, which is he is not getting the required justice anywhere and thus he is dying of the grief incurred at this incident. The youth of the day are brutalized as well; it is evident from this line.

"kanthho amar rudhho ajike banshi sangeet hara"
Meaning: the poet has incurred so much pain that his voice is choked today. His flute is out of the music. The melody and the verse have been totally eradicated from the time. The poet is thus speechless and bereft of the power to sing.

"amaboshyar kara lupto korechhe amar bhaban dushhshaponer tole"
Meaning: the poet says that the happenings around some of which he had already revealed has appeared to him as the dark taverns of a jail where there is no light as the night of the new moon. He says that this imperial darkness has engulfed the world of the poet and veiled it under the blanket of nightmares.

"tai toh tomay shudhai asrujole"
Meaning: the poet asks the lord in tears…

"jahara tomar bishayechhe bayu, nibhayechhe tobo alo"
Meaning: the poet says the men who had vandalized the air that the lord had poured in this world and the ones who had eradicated the light that the lord had infused in his creation…

"tumi ki tader khoma koriyaccho?"
Meaning: the poet arises this query that had the lord pardoned those people? (The ones mentioned in the lines above)

"tumi ki beshhechho bhalo?"
Meaning: the poet asks the lord that had he loved those vandalisers as well?

4. Summary
The lord had sent his messengers on the forms of saints and messiahs to us. They had preached the voice of love and fraternity. Yet the man in his utmost craze for power had forgotten those verses and started to wear and tear each other. The poet thus questions the lord that is the thing that this was destined?

5. Importance of this poem
The blood and the fury is the daily happening. The war is pouring into our situations every day,. As we go through the papers and the channels we shall see that a group of men for their own causes is debauching the notion of humanity. There by the question that arises in the minds of the sane people, the people who want a tint of human hood in the daily life, that the lord who had conjured up this great universe is pleasantly maintaining these vandalistic elements in the world? This question is in the minds of every man who has a sane conscience.