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Kahlil gibran

Kahlil Gibran

Information on the Author

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931), a poet, philosopher, and an artist was born in

Lebanon, a land which has produced many prophets. The millions of Arabic

speaking people, familiar with his writing consider him a genius of his age.

However, his fame and influence was not limited to the Near East only, but far

beyond these borders. His poetry has been translated into more than twenty

languages. His drawings and paintings have been exhibited in the great capitals

of the world and compared by Auguste Rodin to the work of William Blake. In the

United States, which he made his home for the last twenty years of his life., he

began to write in English. The Prophet and his other books of poetry,

illustrated with his mystical drawings are known and loved by innumerable

Americans who find them an expression of the deepest impulses of manÿs heart and



This book is one of Kahlil Gibrans masterpieces and has become a beloved

classic of this era. This book contains poetry about a prophet-called Al-

Mustafa- who tells people about different subjects which are all related to

subjects in everyday life; for example love, hate etc.. The book also contains

a series of illustrations created by the author himself. The book is based

slightly on fiction, but the topics discussed in the poetry are all very

realistic. If a person read the poetry today it would still be relative to the

things happening around us. The poetry is in composition form, and a major part

of the book contains dialogue.


In the first Chapter the location and story line is shown. A prophet; by the

name of Al-Mustafa, has been stranded in the city of Orphalese for twelve years,

and has been awaiting the arrival of his ship. During this time in Orphalese

this Prophet has become accustomed to the cultures and traditions of the land.

The native accepted him as one of their own, and he was no longer a stranger.

Thus it was quite painful for him to think of leaving Oorphalese, however he had

to go to his homeland in any circumstances. When it was time for him to leave

the people of Orpahalese asked him to stay, but he couldnÿt stop. Then a wise

woman called Altmira, came up with a solution. She did not ask him to stay but

asked him to give them the knowledge that he has obtained and been revealed to

him by God. Thus he tells them how to handle everyday situations and what is

right and wrong about such things. Among the twenty-six subjects (each given a

chapter) that are written about; a few of them are Love, Marriage, Laws, Freedom,

Time and Death.

The form of expression used in the book can be explained with the help of a few


About love Gibran says, "When love beckons 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 youÿ." (From the chapter "Love")

About Laws he says, "You delight in laying down laws, Yet you delight more in

bAAbout Laws he says, "You delight in laying down laws, Yet you delight more in

breaking them. Like children playing by the ocean who build sand-towers with

constancy and then destroy them with laughterÿ." From the chapter "Laws"

About Death he says, "You would know the secret of death. But how should you

find it unless you seek it in the heart of life? The owl whose night-bound eyes

are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of lightÿ." (From the chapter


From the above examples it is clear that the author of the book is trying to get

a message across. All the subjects discussed in the book are about everyday

lifAAbout Laws he says, "You delight in laying down laws, Yet you delight more

in breaking them. Like children playing.

The text gives some explanation to the facts of life a lot of advice to people

on the subjects discussed.

Main Characters

The story line of the book is does not discuss certain individuals in any detail

at all except "The Prophet". Instead people on the whole are discussed in each

of the chapters. This is so beacause the topics include happenings in the life

of all common people.

In the case of Al-Mustafa (The name of the Prophet in this story), only his

attachment to the land where he haad been stranded to for 12 years was discussed.

His background was not shown, only that he was a Prophet.

Another character who could be considered important is Altmira. She is a seer

who persuaded Al-Mustafa to sty for a while and tell the people the truth of

nature and all that was around them. "ÿthat you speak to .

The text gives some explanation to the facts of life a lot of advice to people

on the subjects disck. The poetry used is very good, and at the same time not

too hard to understand. In most cases poetry which is considered good usually

contains difficult word and hidden meaning. This can be interesting but in

longer poems it gets dull. "The Prophet" contains a large amount of poetry but

it never gets dull in any portion of the book. I would suggest this book to

anyone, because it deals with reality and can be very useful because of the

advice about everyday topics found in the book.

Source: Essay UK -

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