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Born in Lebanon in 1883, Gibran emigrated to the United States at the age of twelve, where he gained international renown as a poet and painter before his death in 1931.
His message and images have resonated among peoples of diverse cultures and brought them together in appreciation of his art.
His belief in the unity of being, his awareness of spiritual continuity, his call for universal fellowship and the unification of the human race all retain their potency today, as do the messages of all great poets.
From "The Prophet"
Then Almitra spoke, saying,
And a poet said, Speak to us of Beauty.
And he answered:
Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you
And how shall you speak of her except she be the
The aggrieved and the injured say, 'Beauty is kind
'Like a young mother half-shy of her own glory she
And the passionate say, 'Nay, beauty is a thing of
'Like the tempest she shakes the earth beneath us
The tired and the weary say, 'Beauty is of soft
'Her voice yields to our silences like a faint light that
But the restless say, 'We have heard her shouting
'And with her cries came the sound of hoofs, and
At night the watchmen of the city say, 'Beauty shall
And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say,
In winter say the snow-bound, 'She shall come with
And in the summer heat the reapers say, 'We have
All these things have you said of beauty,
Yet in truth you spoke not of her but of needs
And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy.
It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand
But rather a heart inflamed and a soul enchanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a
People of Orphalese, beauty is life when life unveils
But you are life and you are the veil.
Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror.
But you are eternity and you are the mirror.
And a woman spoke, saying, "Tell us of Pain."
And he said:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have
always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
The God separated a spirit from Himself and fashioned it into
And the God bestowed upon her a love that would desert he forever
And He gave her wisdom from heaven to lead to the all-righteous
Then the God took consuming fire from the furnace of anger,
And the god laughed and cried. He felt an overwhelming love
Laughter and Tears
As the Sun withdrew his rays from the garden, and the
When the birds took shelter among the boughs, and the
After he looked about in every direction, I heard the
"My soul is warning me of the doubt in your heart,
"Soon you will be the owner of this vast land, lighted
"Smile, my beloved, like the gold smiles from my father's
"My heart refuses to deny you its secret. Twelve months
"All these things I will do for you; will you be satisfied?"
In a little while I saw them walking and stepping on flowers
Money! The source of insincere love; the spring of false
I was still wandering in the vast desert of contemplation
After a few moments of complete silence, I heard the
"Love - which is God - will consider our sighs and tears
A pure voice, combined of the consuming flame of love,
They seperated, and the elegy to their union was smothered
I looked upon slumbering Nature, and with deep reflection
It is something that gathers strength with patience,
There in the middle of the field, by the side of a
As I engrossed myself in view and thought, I found that
Before my eyes I saw the cage turned suddenly into a
"In God's field of Beauty, at the edge of the stream
"In the center of beautiful Creation I died neglected
"Everything of beauty that awakens my love and desire
"I am the lost human heart, imprisoned in the foul
All these words I heard, and I saw them emerging with
More was said, but my misted eyes and crying should
The Art of Kahlil Gibran
Kahlil Gibran was also a fine artist. You can see some of his
art by clicking here.
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