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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 man˙s 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 couldn˙t 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 you˙." (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 laughter˙." 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 light˙." (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.
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,
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Lebanese Maronites, Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, Prophet
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