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PHILIP SALOM

Poet and Novelist

 

On the ABC on Tagore

Alan Brough is not only a comedian and the jovial captain of team Left-side-of-the-screen on Spicks and Specks, he chairs a talk show on ABC 774 radio called Sundays. It is not comedy and Alan Brough is not trying to be funny - he is a very curious, open-minded guy who saw among the dates for May, the 150th birthday of Rabindranath Tagore, the great Indian poet. Ah, an item for his show. How remarkable is that?

When he emailed me to ask if I'd talk on Tagore for Sundays, I thought: a poet for a job on poetry, how unusual. But he found me through the Melbourne Uni, website where I show up, bizarrely, as an expert on Indian Literature. Never mind.

I had bought Tagore's Selected Poetry and Prose way back in the early 80s and had always been fascinated by the man for his semi-mystical works and his life as a Renaissance man, Indian-style. That is, the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

I read up again and we did a 20 minute talk on Tagore. I hope someone was listening! We just improvised the talk but a few days ago I put together a bio and some of my observations of this phenomenally diverse and brilliant man. A man of poetry, prose, drama, education, agriculture, a political powerhouse from slightly side-scene, friend of Gandhi and Einstein...  These notes on Tagore can be found in my section called Shorts on this website.