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Sunday Book Review – The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran – #Inspirational

My Sunday Book Review is for Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Gibran is a Lebanese born writer who emigrated to America with his family. He’s known for his mystical English and Arabic works translated into over 40 languages. This book of poetic essays was written in 1923, and spoken by the wise man Almustafa.

 

 

 

Blurb:

The Prophet is a book of 26 poetic essays written in English in 1923 by the Lebanese-American artist, philosopher and writer Khalil Gibran. In the book, the prophet Almustafa who has lived in the foreign city of Orphalese for 12 years is about to board a ship which will carry him home. He is stopped by a group of people, with whom he discusses many issues of life and the human condition. The book is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.

Each essay reveals deep insights into the impulses of the human heart and mind. The Chicago Post said of The Prophet: “Cadenced and vibrant with feeling, the words of Kahlil Gibran bring to one’s ears the majestic rhythm of Ecclesiastes . . . If there is a man or woman who can read this book without a quiet acceptance of a great man’s philosophy and a singing in the heart as of music born within, that man or woman is indeed dead to life and truth.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer, born in 1883 in Lebanon and died in New York in 1931. As a young man he emigrated with his family to the United States where he studied art and began his literary career. In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, especially prose poetry, breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, he is still celebrated as a literary hero.

 

My 5 Star Review:

A collection of spiritual and philosophical poetic essays from the wisdom of Almustafa sharing sage advice as he prepares to board the ship for a long waited journey back to his homeland. Each essay divulges the human condition and the essence of soul.

Almustafa waited 12 years in the city of Orphalese for his ship to return to take him back to his birthplace. At the harbor the people flock to him and ask him for advice. A beautiful book to gift. Chapters on life.

I bought this book in ebook version, but like hundreds of reviewers mention, this book is one to keep close and makes a beautiful gift, so I’m also getting the paperback.

Written in rhythmic language, conveying timeless messages, this book covers many subjects of life imparting powerful messages, delivered as sermons from the profit Almustafa. Twenty-six poetic stories of wisdom on love, marriage, children, giving, joy, sorrow, and more, encompassing many of life’s chapters – all sage advice and good reminders to search inside our souls.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from this book:

 

“Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”

 

“For even as love crown you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.”

 

“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 to-morrow, 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.”

 

On teaching: “If he is indeed wise, he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.”

 

“I would have you consider your judgment and your appetite even as you would two loved guests in your house. Surely you would not honour one guest above the other; for he who is more mindful of one loses the love and the faith of both.”

 

©DGKaye

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

35 Comments

  • Marian Beaman

    I remember falling in love with The Prophet and its author as a young woman. I have probably passed on this book, if I ever bought it. His quotes are always spot on, e. g.: “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” I too would rate it 5 stars.

    You are right, Debby, the book is a classic with timeless messages. 🙂

  • Darlene Foster

    I was given a gorgeous copy of this book by my boss over 30 years ago. I treasure it and it goes with me wherever I live. It is a book to savour and dip onto from time to time. I especially love the quote about children. A wonderful review and a timely reminder to read it again. I think we need it right now.

  • Balroop Singh

    I know Kahlil Gibran through his profound quotes, he shares the wisdom of the world through his words. I am glad you’ve shared this review of Poetic Essays with us Deb, this is a gem – to be treasured! Thank you.

  • Diana Peach

    I read this one as a teenager (paperback of course). I still have the book, Debby, and browse through it on occasion. Such beautiful poetic writing and gentle wisdom that never grows old. A wonderful review. <3

  • sally cronin

    I have this book too Debby on my bookshelf and as you say wonderful to dip into… lovely review and I hope those who have not read The Prophet will buy a copy… I love that line about love.. it is so true…♥♥

  • Norah Colvin

    I was captivated by your title, Debby, as this is one of my all-time favourite books. I have gifted it a number of times and, in fact, did so for a birthday just two days ago. You have included one of my favourite quotes, that of children. I think it’s something every parent must hear and understand. I am happy to second your recommendation.

  • Jane Sturgeon

    I have this book on my bookshelf (a present from my brother many years ago) and it is well-thumbed. A loving review from you, Debby and I hope that those who haven’t read it yet, feel moved to do so. This gem contains such wise words. <3 <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for validating the beauty of this book Jane. Seems unanymous by all. I look forward to getting my paperback copy to add to my shelves too. <3 Hugs flowing xoxoxoo

  • John Maberry

    For so many years I have seen snippets of Gibran–a few lines at most. Never gave any thought to reading an actual collection! Not only that, I knew nothing whatsoever about the man–only assuming the poet was indeed a man. LOL. Now that I know the identity, some biography and that there is a collection (could have assumed so, but to date those snippets have satisfied what interest that I had).

  • Olga Núñez Miret

    Thanks, Debby. Like many others, I’ve pondered over Gibran’s quotes often and loved them, although I haven’t read one of his books in a long time (I am pretty sure I read a Spanish version of The Prophet when I was young, but I suspect somebody must have loaned it to me or it has been lost in a move, as I haven’t seen it recently). Thanks for the reminder and for the lovely review. Take care.

  • Claire Fullerton

    I am so glad to see this here, Debby. I haven’t read this but your calling it to the fore makes me want to buy it right now! I love that you’re always so in the know! Wonderful post. Thank you!

  • carol balawyder

    Debby, I was so happy to have you review Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet! This is a book I read and loved years and years ago. Perhaps I still have it somewhere. The quote about your children are not your children is one I remember well. You have made me want to re-read the book. Some books never get old. Some books one never tires of re-reading. This is one at the top of the heap. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. Here, in Montreal, we are in a red zone so no socializing until October 28. Keep safe. <3

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for chiming in Carol. Yes, there is something magical about that book that so many love and covet this book like a bible. I am looking forward to receiving my own paperback copy as the ebook version slips daily to the bottom of the pile on my Kindle, now that it’s read. And Happy Thanksgiving to you too my friend. We are 2 Canadians in the same boat with restrictions. Just me and hub together doing Thanksgiving. You and I live in the most Covid populated provinces :(. Please stay safe and keep writing to keep your sanity. Hugs xox

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