The Prophet

ISBN: 0679440674
ISBN 13: 9780679440673
By: Khalil Gibran

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About this book

The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry essays written in English by the Lebanese artist, philosopher & writer Kahlil Gibran. It was originally published in 1923 by Alfred A. Knopf. It's his best known work. It's been translated into over 40 languages & has never been out of print. Knopf sold 1159 of the 2000 copy 1st printing. Demand doubled the following year, doubled again the next year. Annual sales have risen steadily: from 12,000 in '35 to 111,000 in '61 to 240,000 in '65. The book sold its one millionth copy in '57. Worldwide, it sells over 5000 copies a week. The book will be in the public domain in the USA in 2018 altho it's already in the public domain in the European Union, Canada, Russia, S. Africa & Australia. Gibran instructed that on his death the royalties & copyrights to his materials be owned by his hometown, Bsharri, Lebanon. The Gibran National Committee, located in Bsharri, manages the Gibran Museum. Founded in '35, the GNC is a nonprofit corporation holding the exclusive rights to manage the author's copyright in & to his literary & artistic works. In 2009, the GNC granted exclusive rights to create a film based on The Prophet to Gibran: The Prophet, LLC, a group located in the USA.

Reader's Thoughts


well..of course..we all know this book has plenty of wisdom for the 'with it' and 'without it' generation..what is also striking is the simplicity of the language and the pragmatism in his outlook to life..Be it on relationships between couple or parent-child or work or passion, the author is impeccable and extremely refined thoughts are bound to grow on you..The more you read the book..the they say the older the age of the wine..the better..this one is clearly the one to cherish and keep going back down the memory lane..worth its weight in gold or should i say platinum...


This is a semi-poetic collection of views on important things in life, like love, giving, crime and punishment, pain, talking, and beauty. They are told by a wise person who gives his opinions when solicited by the town on his day of departure. I like this part:And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.And he said: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.---------2 January 2012I read it again today. What a difference 3+ years can make between readings. This good book now looks even better."You often say, 'I would give, but only to the deserving.' The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.""Some of you say, 'Joy is greater than sorrow,' and others say, 'Nay, sorrow is the greater.'But I say unto you, they are inseparable."

Mohamed Shady

على شاطئ تلك الجزيرة يقف النبى .. حوله أتباعه يحوّطونه برفق ، يتوسّلون إليه إلا يرحل .. ولكنه مضطـر .. يجلس ، للمرة الأخيـرة ، ليعلّمهم عن القيم والأخلاق والمعانى الإنسانية .. يعلّمهم عن الموت والحياة .. عن الحزن والفرح .. عن الإيمان والكفـر ، عن الخيـر والشـر .. نبىٌ لا أتخيّله إلا فى شخص ( جُبران ) .. يتلو تعاليمه وخبراته ، ويترك رسالته الأخيـرة للبشـرية .. لغـة عذبة ، وأسلوب روحانىُّ رقيق .. كلمات من ذهب ومعانٍ سامية .. أعجبتنى كثيـرًا المقتطفات التى تتحدث عن الجمال ، وعن الموت .. *****والآن كان قد حلّ المساء فقالت المطرة العرّافة : " مباركٌ هذا اليوم ، وهذا المكان وروحك التى تكلّمت. أجابها قائلًا : وهل كُنتُ أنا من تكلّم ؟ ألم أكن أنا أيضـا أحد السامعين ؟ مقتطفات من نبى جبران بصوت فيروز :


يلقِّب البعض هذا الكتاب بإنجيل جبران. أعتقد أن هذا هو الوصف الأفضل لكتاب اقتبس كاتبه حروفه من نور سماوي.أحمد الديب2008


I think people are making this out to be something it's not. It's bombastic nonsense.

Erinina Marie

The Prophet by Kalil GhibranThis book was given to me as a gift from my director in the last show that I did. I carried it with me everywhere and read it on the train, anytime I was waiting or bored. It brought me such immense comfort and inspiration. When I would read it’s pages before a long day at work, I came to work much more peaceful, than crabby. It’s messages are simple, yet profound and there is room in them to interpret them and hear them according to wherever you are in your life. I think that this book came into my life at the right time, it was a gift, then both my boyfriend and my mother highly praised it while I was reading it.


This book is cool because it is an excellent display of how similar the world's religions truly are. When it comes down to it, they are really all the same and the differences are mainly aesthetic.However, pretty much any person who has learned about many different religions is really going to come to the same conclusion. All the religions in the world are all compatible, because their entire purpose is to provide a belief system to help people in a society get along. The rules that make humans get along are all pretty similar regardless of culture, so the religions end up the same.I would recommend this book to college boys who want to impress girls, because when I was reading it, girls seemed pretty impressed. Also, I would recommend it to teenagers who want to feel spiritual and deep. However, as you get older, you'll probably get far too jaded to appreciate it.


أعتقد أنها ستكون أروع شئ قرأته وسأقرأه عن الأنسانية والحب والعطاء والحكمة كتاب رائع يستحق الاقتناء وقرائته أكثر من مرة أبدع ثروت أباظه في ترجمته ويكأنه علي لسان عربي وليس بمترجم أشد المقطوعات أثارت أعجابيفي المأكل والمشرب وحين تنحر ذبيحتك ناجها في سريرتك قائلا:"إن الفدرة التي تذبحك هي نفسها... تذبحني؛وأنا مثلك مصيري الفناء.فإن الناموس الذي أسلمك إلى يدي سوف يسلمني إلى يد أشد بأسا.وحين تقضم التفاحة بين اسنانك،ناجها قائلا:"لسوف تحيا بذورك في جسدي، وتزهر براعم غدك في قلبي، ويصبح عبيرك أنفاسي؛ومعا نبتهج على مر الفصول". وفي الفرح والحزنحين يستخفك الفرح ارجع الي اعماق قلبك قتري انك في الحقيقة تفرح بما كان مصدر حزنك وحين يغمرك الحزن تأمل قلبك من جديد فستري أنك في الحقيقة تبكي مما كان يوماً مصدر بهجتك الجريمة والعقابمن أراد منكم أن يجلد الجاني فليمتحن سريرة المجني عليه وفي الوداعإن ما يبدو لأعينكم أضعف ما فيكم وأكثره اضطراباً هو في الحق أقوي ما فيكم وأشده ثباتاً

Lee Transue

Despite your religious views, be they absent or strong, Gibran has given us a work of beauty that proves, to me at least, that faith is not necessary to be good and right.A favorite quote from the book:"Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music."Lee

Pulkit Singhal

Alright, so I think this might be the most beautiful book I have ever read. Each segment, each sentence, each word is quotable. If you were to note down some special moments from the book, you had write the book as it is. Such is the power the book possesses; it enchants you to the highest degree with its content, with its fluid divinity and its phenomenal poetic aura. At no point does it stop being divine. As rightly said in the epigraph for Kahlil Gibran: "His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life else it could not have been so universal and potent, but the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own."I am so impressed and am in such immense awe that if I were to choose my religious/spiritual text, this would be it. If I were to carry one book all the time with me (like Gita, Bible or Koran), this would be it. For I have never come across any aphorisms or any sermons in such rich poetic texture. And it is so refreshing when you find out that the book carries a sense of pragmatism all along in its teachings. Yes, it has its own sense of romanticism and morality but no where does it digress to make one lose interest out of lack of practicality. Let me quote some lines here:And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of childrenAnd he said: Your children are not your children.These 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 thoughtsFor they have their own thoughts.You may house their bodies but not their soulsFor their souls dwell in the house of tomorrowwhich 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.You are the bows from which your childrenas living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,and He bends you with His mightthat His arrows may go swift and far.Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;For even as He loves the arrow that flies,so He loves also the bow that is stable. On clothes:Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful.And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain.Would that you could meet the sun and the wind with more of your skin and less of your raiment,For the breath of life is in the sunlight and the hand of life is in the wind.On reason and passion:Your reason and your 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.For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.Therefore let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing;And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.On Joy and Sorrow:The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? In the last chapter: If this be vague words, then seek not to clear them. Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end, And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning. Life, and all that lives, is conceived in the mist and not in the crystal. And who knows but a crystal is mist in decay? And as you can see, I am going all gaga over the poetry in the book. So let me quote some lines that express it the most:Fain would I take with me all that is here. But how shall I?A voice cannot carry the tongue and the lips that gave it wings. Alone must it seek the ether.And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun. At night the watchmen of the city say, 'Beauty shall rise with the dawn from the east.'And at noontide the toilers and the wayfarers say, ' We have seen her leaning over the earth from the windows of the sunset.Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."But I say unto you, they are inseparable.Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. Build of your imaginings a bower in the wilderness ere you build a house within the city walls.For even as you have home-comings in your twilight, so has the wanderer in you, the ever distant and alone.Your house is your larger body.It grows in the sun and sleeps in the stillness of the night; and it is not dreamless. Does not your house dream? and dreaming, leave the city for grove or hill-top?And you, vast sea, sleeping mother,Who alone are peace and freedom to the river and the stream,Only another winding will this stream make, only another murmur in this gladeAnd then I shall come to you, a boundless drop to a boundless ocean.We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another, and no sunrise finds us where left by sunset. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of that tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind to be scattered.Surely there is no greater gift to a man than that which turns all his aims into parching lips and all life into a fountain.And in this lies my honor and my reward-That whenever I come to the fountain to drink I find the living water itself thirsty; And it drinks me while I drink it. So much to be re-read again and again not only to just gain more out of them because the nectar I truly feel is overflowing in these verses but also to appreciate the sheer beauty and divinity of them. This book thus I suppose should be read by everyone. EVERYONE!

Megan Baxter

I don't know if I can write this review. I really don't. It makes me feel extremely vulnerable, to contemplate putting so much of my heart out on view for people on the internet to see. I also don't know if I have the words.Reading this book was both devastating and awe-inspiring. I was moved beyond words, particularly when I started reading it, started to let the words wash over me, when I realized how familiar they were, not the words, but the meanings behind them. It felt like something I'd been swimming in my whole life and never realized it.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook


98% Nonsense. I feel dizzy. There are a couple nice lines in here: "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?"And,"Beauty is eternity looking at itself in the mirror."THAT'S IT, though. There is nothing else worth reading. Yea Verily, I say unto ye that ye cannot be intelligent or well-read and still like this garbage.Now I know why this book sold 100 million copies (literally) and critics still haven't even noticed its existence. It's garbage, but it tells people what they want to hear--the comfort of religion without the divisive stuff (morality, judgment, hell, obligations). There is no surprise why it appealed to hippies (sales really took off in the 1960's). Also, it's really short, so any idiot can finish it. There's only so many literally nonsensical sentences I can read in a row before I start to feel ill. This is basically an older, less-readable incarnation of that other pseudo-mystic Paulo Coelho. Both men are charlatans. Pretty much everything else is literally nonsense that is supposed to sound important but really isn't. It's all a pastiche of the KJV translation of the Sermon on the Mount. If you want great English poetry, read the KJV! It's not the most accurate translation but it's very poetic and great literature, whether you believe in it or not. I started this on March 8 and psychologically couldn't take anymore after 2/3 of it. I then read the final 1/3 on March 31. I needed all that time to get the anxiety out. If you're a thinking person you will wonder if you've lost your mind as you're reading this.


Somehow I went through the first thirty years of my life never reading this book. As I got older, I became more reluctant to pick it up. I'd heard it praised by the same people that swear by The Alchemist (a book I was heartily disappointed in).But, having now sat down and read it, I can say I found it completely beautiful. The writing was poetry that teemed with life and vibrancy of image. The ideas expressed were simultaneously profound and simple. It is definitely one of those books that I'll end up owning and going through with a pencil...underlining my favorite passages, whether they be based upon language or content. I was fully satiated by both.

Riku Sayuj

Re-read a classic to start off the new year. As with every classic, this too turned up in a new light. With echoes of Schopenhauer, Kant and even Comte, this deep poem suddenly took new life in this reading. Now what is left is to search out which way the influence spread before flowering in this expression - east to west, the other way, or is it an early amalgamation of all philosophy like all truly great poems are.


a book for anyone willing to step outside of the insitutionalized perspective of life that most of America and the world finds itself in. Every line is an intuitive and insightful proclamation of the gut feelings we all have about the way life can be lived and should be lived. I have heard the quote on marriage being like two trees standing near each other with a little space between them so the wind (God) can come between them. it's an extremely popular and inspirational book!

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