CONVERGENT THEMES

© UNESCO / Permanent Delegation of India, Untitled, oil painting by Rabindranath Tagore

Among the works by Tagore, Neruda and Césaire we can identify at least five great convergent topics that make their messages echo one another and shed light on our current interrogations:

 

 

 

 

Tagore, Neruda and Césaire defined themselves first and foremost as poets. Yet, Art and Poetry remain the irreplaceable bearers of mediation between human beings and the world. Reinventing humanism might be signify reading poetry in a more profound manner, hearing it more carefully in all its forms, encountering the new varieties of orality that express the dreams and revolts of young people.

Moreover, through their humanistic literary commitment Tagore, Neruda and Césaire realized, long before the ecological and environmental question took on the gravity it presents today, the crucial need to bring the material and collective development of humanity into line with nature. Their pioneering visions remind us that human beings’ respect and love for nature have long united the wisdoms of western and non-western civilizations.

Despite their historical and geo-cultural contexts as different as those of Asia and the Indian sub-continent, Latin America or the West Indies at the crossroads between Europe and Africa, Tagore, Neruda and Césaire committed themselves as active visionaries and proposed a dialogue based on the integrity of the human person. Their project was not to summon a court of history but to contribute to the emancipation of peoples by freeing them from political oppression and also eradicating the moral or intellectual slavery that threatens us all.

Furthermore, Tagore, Neruda and Césaire hailed the formidable explosion of knowledge brought by the development of scientific thought and technology in the 19th and 20th centuries. The three poets thought that was an essential but non-exclusive part of the adventure of human knowledge that must also be- nourished by the imaginary, inseparable as it is from life.

By questioning the relationship between dominant and dominated, the legacies of Tagore, Neruda and Césaire help to define the mission that concerns education: ‘building in the mind of human beings’ an order of the world that could make compatible the urgent demands of the universal and those of the particular. They teach us that all knowledge and all cultures are victories of equal significance and organic symbols of the diversity of peoples and civilizations.

 

Back to top