Love After Death

Each individual believes themselves to be the center of their own universe whether they know it or not. Our need for food, knowledge, money, and love are all products of our own selfishness. We try to mask this selfishness in many ways, giving back to the community, raising money for different organizations, saving our oceans, even religion. We never think about why we do these things. Subconsciously it is a way to make ourselves boost our ego, make us feel better, feeding into the concept of selfish socialization. Through the poetry book Fruit Gathering, the poem LV by Rabindranath Tagore, he explains that we perceive the world as a constant everyday ongoing cosmic event that is drastically changed when death is presented. We find ourselves to be the center of the universe, so when something is taken away indefinitely, it furthers our need to find the reasoning behind life itself. 

“Tulsidas, the poet, was wandering, deep in thought, by the Ganges, in that lonely spot where they burn their dead,”

Tagore, Fruit Gathering LV

Here, the poet describes the women as dressed for a wedding. Reading the text, it was odd to me that she was found where they burned the dead in a wedding gown. I further wondered why they burned the dead there, and what the significance of it was. Here, she is described as a young bride, or we can assume from her wearing the wedding dress, but she is already wanting to follow her husband into the afterlife? 

“Permit me master,”

Tagore, Fruit Gathering LV

A perfect line to sum up a colonialistic view of romance. Here, it is essential to note the overbearing connection to the concept of equality. While you read further into the poem, you are persuaded into believing this great love story of a widow mourning the loss of her husband, but all I can conjure is the ever-present heaviness of division between husband and wife. This love and longing are blurred as the poem goes on, making me wonder about the point and the reasoning behind this love story. Here, it is found that her devotion to her husband has been created in terms of the culture she has grown in. Though she loves her husband, the fact that what caused their marriage and love was not a secular system, but rather created by the religion in which they follow (or that we can assume they follow). It is feasible to assume that this is a way that not only she can create a role for herself in life, but in the universe as well, and if her husband is not there to create a role, then she may feel as if she is unneeded. 

“”For heaven I do not long,” said the woman. “I want my husband.””

Tagore, Fruit Gathering LV

Taking this line from the poem, it is important to note that the narrator throws out the idea of religion altogether. Here, she doesn’t care about heaven, but rather being there for her husband. This line shows that the woman could care less about religion, but still cares about what others think about her. You can insinuate that she wonders if not following her husband will bring her bad karma, or inner peace? Would it be selfish to follow him into the afterlife, or remain alone in the world of the living? Religion in itself is a way for those to force themselves to be selfless, but being a part of religion in itself can be argued as selfish because it is a tool to subconsciously make oneself feel better about themselves. The idea is that if someone does something they think is “good”, all the sins will be repented. Here we delve into the concept of humans as selfish beings. By the simplistic ideal of needing to survive, we become selfish. So when something is taken away indefinitely from us, something that we thought to be ours, we need to find the reasoning behind it. And In this instance, she does not need heaven, but rather a way to find her husband to be with him. 

“”In my heart is my lord, one with me,””

Tagore, Fruit Gathering LV

Reading this line, it took me a moment to understand what it truly meant. I read over it several times thinking along the lines of that she found religion in herself. Perhaps she found her husband in herself? Whatever the case may be, she was able to move past the idea of being so overcome with sadness that she was able to find the happiness in his memory and remain an independent woman rather than fixating on the culture of following her husband into the afterlife. She did what she wanted, rather than what others expected of her. Our perception of the world is drastically affected by every decision we make. In the instance of her husband’s death, she could have been blaming herself as she wondered what would happen from then on. Again, as I stated before, we as humans are very selfish beings that survive off the actions of what others do for us. I think in this poem, it is made clear that even though the grief hit hard, in the end she found a way to continue on while he still remained a part of her. 

To make a side note of this, looking at all of the great masterpieces throughout history, most love stories are created into tragedies. Examples are at the hand of William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Ophelia in Hamlet, more recently in modern times, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene, or A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I think it is agreed to think the tragedy is what makes the story so great because you find yourself attached to the characters and to their relationship. In this poem, the relationship ended in tragedy before we could have the opportunity to be connected with it. Through this poem, I think Rabindranath Tore was emphasizing the concept of love being different after death, and finding meaning in this sense, which differs from many love stories. It focuses on love, and not what comes after. 

Throughout the poem, we are greeted with concepts such as duty as a wife, duties in religion, and selfishness as a human being. Though it is a rather short piece in the poetry book, there is a lot to gather from it in terms of foreshadowing. Subconsciously boosting our ego and moving on with life after tragic events is something we do without knowledge, but is important in furthering our reasoning in life. Rabindranath Tore was able to take these concepts and subtly place them in his poetry, bringing to light our perception of the world in our own eyes, and finding reasoning for life itself.

/home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 19
" data-author-type="
Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 20
" data-author-archived="
Warning: Undefined array key "archived" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 21
/home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 41

Warning: Undefined array key "id" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 41
Warning: Undefined array key "archive" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/html-layout.php on line 42
itemscope itemid="" itemtype="" >

Warning: Undefined array key "img" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-avatar.php on line 4

Warning: Undefined array key "show_social_web" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-socialmedia.php on line 6

Warning: Undefined array key "show_social_mail" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-socialmedia.php on line 7

Warning: Undefined array key "show_social_phone" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-socialmedia.php on line 8

Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 15

Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 17

Warning: Undefined array key "type" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 19

Warning: Undefined array key "archive" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 31

Warning: Undefined array key "name" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-name.php on line 34

Warning: Undefined array key "job" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 10

Warning: Undefined array key "job" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 15

Warning: Undefined array key "company" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 17

Warning: Undefined array key "phone" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 26

Warning: Undefined array key "mail" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 36

Warning: Undefined array key "web" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 46
/home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 80

Warning: Undefined array key "id" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-meta.php on line 80
-')" class="m-a-box-data-toggle" > + posts

Warning: Undefined array key "bio" in /home/nrhelmsp/public_html/global.lit/wp-content/plugins/molongui-authorship/views/author-box/parts/html-bio.php on line 8

2 thoughts on “Love After Death

  1. Humans are inherently selfish, even when we don’t try to be we find ourselves being selfish. The idea that we’re doing something good for another person “without expectation of reward” feels inherently false. We do it to feel better about ourselves, to look better to the people around us, or to gain reward in whatever afterlife we might believe in.

    This is a very interesting take to the poem. I’m so used to unessays that for a moment your essay confused me but it was interesting altogether. The ending line of her having her lord within her made me think of two options; one she did find religion and her god is within her heart or that she is referring to her husband as her lord being in her soul. The second option is a sort of remembrance of her dead husband’s image. In this moment, I’m also thinking of it as, she found out she was pregnant and quite literally her child is her husband and her in one form.

    Overall, this was an interesting read.

  2. I think maybe the wedding gown near the dead is meant to symbolize the death of youth? independance? the previous life to make way for the life that will follow after marriage.

Leave a Reply