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Those who have not read any of Kahlil Gibran's work, and who are unfamiliar with the man, would surely find "The Prophet" a worthy introduction. It is an intensely spiritual work, written as a simple tale. Gibran's writing offers solace when one's mood is low, and is a worthy modern book of parables.
I have read other works by Kahlil Gibran and yet none touched me as much as this one. As you read, you find yourself craving a higher spiritual plane, exploring yourself, your life, the possibilities and opportunities of your future - and yet this is not what the book is about. It just provokes that reaction in you. I am deliberately omitting any information as to the content, as I do not wish to colour, in any way, how another reader will comprehend this.
This is definitely another of those "to share" classics, to pass on to those you love and care for, no matter what their ages. It is an experience in the guise of a book, worth much more than the words themselves.
This is a short, spiritual book published in 1923, full of wisdom and fruit for the soul....How many books do we read and discard? Well, this is one that you can keep thinking about and referring to, as a real self-help guide but also with beautiful writing.
I hadn't heard of the author or the book until I received it as a present. Now I've learned that he is the 3rd bestselling author after Shakespeare.
It's a moving book due to the simple style of the writing that covers major topics of Love, Marriage, Law, Language, Time etc....
But the sentences are biblical with resonance and yet it does not preach. You will keep returning to it to learn and think more about life and life's forces. It speaks not with science or with absolutes, but experience and truths.....
You will struggle to find a book that is so full of wisdom as this one, and yet not overtly religious. There is no particular story here, just the premise of a man about to leave for his home, and talking to those he knows before he leaves.....
If ever a book was deep, this is it.
I'm not certain if my copy is the same as this one. Mine comes with the orginal artwork of the author inside it, which is quite like William Blake, but more accessible. He was a wise and talented guy.
"And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge" The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran (Gibran, 26) Ok, maybe i'm just biased because Kahlil Gibran is a Lebanese author, but I read this book a year ago, finally! (my family owns it in Arabic, French, and English) I thought it was great. Each chapter has a theme, for examply about Love, Hate, Family, Work, etc, and it is basically about a wandering Prophet, Al Mustafa, who is going to leave a town he has been living in, but before he leaves he tells the people of the village his wisdom and beliefs and how he thinks they should live their lives. A lot of it is that which we already know in our hearts, but which he so beautifully expresses in words, and the type of reading that reassures and, of course, has a lesson to be learned. His language is very poetic and, at least to me, moving, and he another book that I would recommend as well such as "The Broken Wings," as well as books that are available of his quotes, etc. Kahlil Gibran was not only a writer, but a philosopher and an artist too, and should be remembered as a brilliant man who had so much to offer. I hope you get a chance to read it. Enjoy!
The lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran wrote this short book in 1923. The Prophet is just a collection of short sermons delivered by the 'Chosen One'. 'The Chosen One' has been exiled for 12 years and on the eve of his return to his native land he is asked by the seeress to speak to the people. He delivers a series of twenty six short sermons about love, and the mysteries of life including drinking and eating. At the end of the book promises to return. This short book has sold over ten million copies and been translated into ten different languages. I couldn't see why it is so popular except perhaps for its artistic merit. The language is flowery and poetic but there is no real story running through the book.
The Prophet is “the most famous work of religious inspiration of the twentieth century.” This claim is made on the back cover of this small book which I received as a Christmas present. The claim is at least partially justified for this book has sold 10 million copies world-wide, has been translated into more than 20 languages and, in America is second only to the Bible in sales. But why? What is so special about it? In all honesty – I don’t know. It is difficult to even work out what type of writing it is. Classified by its publishers Penguin under various categories including literature, philosophy, and religion/mythology, The Prophet has more recently also been identified as the first of a new genre ‘New Age Fiction’ and bracketed alongside the Celestine Prophecy and such like. But there is no real story to the Prophet, or if there is it is left to the reader’s own imagination to fill in the details. The ‘Prophet’ is Almustafa, the chosen and beloved, who has been stranded or exiled on an island for 12 years. On the eve of his departure Almitra, the seeress, requests that the prophet “speak to us and give us of your truth.” The remainder of the very short book is the prophet’s ‘truths’ about Love, Marriage, Children, Giving, Eating and Drinking, Work, Joy and Sorrow, etc., covering in the 26 homilies most aspects of life. It concludes with the Prophet’s final words including his promise to return. In order to give a flavour of this enigmatic little best seller I will quote at length. This is not something that I would normally do but as this book was originally written in 1923 and is freely available on the Internet I assume it is now out of copyright. Requesting that the Prophet speak to the people Almitra says: Now therefore disclose us to ourselves, and tell us all that has been shown you of that which is between birth and de
ath. And he answered: People of Orphalese, of what can I speak save of that which is even now moving within your souls. 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. * * * This is what the Prophet has to say about children in its entirety: And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of children. And he said: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts. For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves the also the bow that is stable. These beautiful poetic words of wisdom do indeed have a gentle charm. It is not surprising that they are popular. Someone wrote about this book something to the effect that behind a veil of simplicity
lies a quiet reverberating echo of profoundness. But for me the ‘veil of simplicity’ hides something far less profound. Critics of the book have described it as platitudinous, over-saturated and trite and while I wouldn’t go as far as that there is something intangibly imprecise about it. The words are in fact rhythmically hypnotic and, being subtly reminiscent of assorted Scriptures encompassing the Bible and Koran, this lulls the reader into a sense that these are indeed the words of a Prophet. But, no, these are the words of Kahlil Gibran. Kahlil Gibran, the alcoholic son of an alcoholic father, was born in 1883. His first years were spent in the Lebanon and then his mother took the children to America. Gibran later returned to Beirut for schooling in Arabic but returned to America. The young Gibran was talented both in art and writing and gained the support of a string of beautiful patrons and mixed with the famous intelligentsia such as Ruskin, Galsworthy and Jung. He died in 1931 at the age of 48 of cirrhosis of the liver. I am inclined to think of this book in terms of a ‘pop song’ in the spiritual world. Just as popular songs extol love and romance and offer a quick fix and escape so this pseudo-scripture offers a feel good read. It is even debatable whether this book is ‘religious’ at all – if it is it is a new brand of religion which does not make any demands and mentions ‘God’ only in passing. This may account for some of its popularity. For me, at least, the term ‘Prophet’ conjures up a person with a message that incorporates challenge. Prophets are critical of injustice and speak out regardless of the consequences. Gibran’s ‘prophet’ seems more like a quasi guru who offers deep meaningful little phrases to his adoring devotees. Kahlil Gibran is a highly respected writer in both Arabic and English and I do not mean to denig
rate his work in any way. The book is universal in tone and has appealed to people from many different ‘religions’ and none. The brief homilies contain just enough to be thought provoking but don’t preach. The Prophet, therefore, is a fairly accessible introduction to spiritual thought for anyone, even those with only a marginal interest. I am, however, genuinely interested as to why this slim volume has met with such acclaim and popularity. As I mentioned above, the book is freely available on the internet and if anyone cares to read it I would be genuinely interested in your comments. It is available at many places, just enter the title and author’s name into any search engine or use this one: http://www.columbia.edu/~gm84/gibtable.html
Almustafa the Prophet, or 'Chosen one' is about to return to his native land. Before leaving his place of exile, he delivers twenty-six homilies to the people he is about to leave. Together, these short sermons form The Prophet.