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.
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.”