The Prophet

The Prophet

by Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet

The Prophet

by Kahlil Gibran

Paperback

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Overview

Kahlil Gibran’s masterpiece, The Prophet, is one of the most beloved classics of our time—a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Published in 1923, it has been translated into more than twenty languages.

The Prophet contains powerful words of wisdom on such essential subjects as marriage, children, friendship, work, and pleasure—words that readers from around the world have found inspirational and life-changing. A poet, artist, and mystic, Gibran was born to a poor Christian family in Lebanon and emigrated to the United States as an adolescent, where he began studying art. The twenty-eight poetic essays collected in The Prophet are illustrated with twelve of his full-page drawings. Perhaps no other twentieth-century writer has touched the hearts and minds of so remarkably varied and widespread a readership.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101970782
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/21/2015
Series: Vintage International
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 19,547
Product dimensions: 5.16(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.38(d)

About the Author

Kahlil Gibran was born in 1883 in Lebanon and died in New York in 1931. His family emigrated to the United States in 1895. In his early teens, the artistry of Gibran's drawings caught the eye of his teachers and he was introduced to the avant-garde Boston artist, photographer, and publisher Fred Holland Day, who encouraged and supported Gibran in his creative endeavors. A publisher used some of Gibran's drawings for book covers in 1898, and Gibran held his first art exhibition in 1904 in Boston. In 1908, Gibran went to study art with Auguste Rodin in Paris for two years, and he later studied art in Boston. While most of Gibran's early writing was in Arabic, most of his work published after 1918 was in English. Gibran's best-known work is The Prophet, a book composed of 28 poetic essays.

Read an Excerpt

ON LOVE
 
Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
 
And he raised his head and looked upon the peo­ple, and there fell a stillness upon them. And with a great voice he said:
 
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
 
 
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
 
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
 
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
 
 
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
 
 
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
 
 
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
 
Then it is better for you that you cover your na­kedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
 
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
 
 
• • •
 
 
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
 
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
 
For love is sufficient unto love.
 
 
When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
 
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
 
 
Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ec­stasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Table of Contents

The Prophet 1

The Coming of the Ship 3

On Love 11

On Marriage 15

On Children 19

On Giving 23

On Eating and Drinking 27

On Work 29

On Joy and Sorrow 33

On Houses 35

On Clothes 39

On Buying and Selling 41

On Crime and Punishment 45

On Laws 51

On Freedom 55

On Reason and Passion 59

On Pain 61

On Self-Knowledge 65

On Teaching 67

On Friendship 69

On Talking 71

On Time 73

On Good And Evil 75

On Prayer 79

On Pleasure 83

On Beauty 87

On Religion 91

On Death 95

The Farewell 99

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