Book Review – The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

I was given this book by my boyfriend when we first started dating and even though I have had this book for a long time I am still not finished it.  This book is filled with so many amazing things set in such beautiful poetic language that one must leave time for the words to sink in before attempting to absorb anything else from this book.  The table of contents is expansive, covering topics from love, joy and sorrow, eating and drinking, crime and punishment, freedom, self-knowlege, friendship, time, good and evil, beauty, death…need I go on?  If you’re in the mood for something that will gently broaden your perspective, I would absolutely recommend this book.  There are way too many things I wish I could quote for you, but I’ve narrowed it down to three excerpts.  I hope that you enjoy them.

On Love:

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.

On Reason and Passion:

Your soul is oftentimes a battlefield, upon which your reason and your judgement wage war agains your passion and your appetite.  Would that I could be the peacemaker in your soul, that I might turn the discord and the rivalry of your elements into oneness and melody.  But how shall I, unless you yourselves be also the peacemakers, nay, the lovers of all your elements?  

Your reason and passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.  If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas…Therefore let your soul exalt your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.

On Death:

For what is to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.

And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

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