245 of 260 people found the following review helpful
A prophet has waited twelve years in a coastal town for the ship that will bear him back to his homeland, which he misses.
Why he is there, why he is waiting, how he knows what he knows, and who he is is a mystery. As he departs the townspeople gather to wish him well. A local seeress who knows him best asks him to share his wisdom so that it will endure for generations to come.
So, he reveals his wisdom on love, birth, marriage, children, pain, talking, pleasure, death any so much more.
It is a profound work, and here is his advice on marriage so you may judge for yourself:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
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.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Its not a little similar to the Tao Te Ching: A New English Version (Perennial Classics)where a border guard recognises Lao Tzu, and asks him to share his wisdom as he goes into exile. Written 2,500 years ago, and one of the most translated books in the world. The Tao contains many principles you can use in your everyday life, and if you're not thinking in ego based ways, your wisdom based thinking opens up..
If you like one book, you will love the other, so I recommend both. For the Tao, I recommend the Stephen Mitchell version. Hope this was useful.
122 of 130 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2000
Gibran gets right down to the bedrock of what it is all about. He was obviously a very enlightened man, and The Prophet is so completely, psychologically and spiritually healthy. Anyone who would not consider this work a standard for healthy living, is simply simple-minded. This book should be offered to all high school students as a guide in gaining perspective on what is really important in life. I first read The Prophet about 10 years ago, and I typically read it about once a year, just to remind myself. However, I gave my copy to my son who showed signs of being "at risk" at age 17. I believe the book had a significant, positive impact on him, and he is now 20 and living a very responsible and balanced life. After my son had read this book, I found him on the telephone one evening reading passages to a friend. It made him think, and any time you can get a teenager to think, it's a very good thing.
170 of 184 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2000
I first became aware of Kahlil Gibran when I read a poem of his that was on the menu at my favorite Lebanese restaurant. Ever since then, I have sought out his books. The Prophet is my favorite. Several of the "poems" or passages are fully relevant to parts of my life. The book makes one feel good and inspired to do good for others. There is barely an aspect on life that the poems do not touch on-love, marriage, death and all of our own insecurities and doubts about people and life. This would be a good book to give to a friend who is going through a rough time, or just has unanswered questions at a certain point in their lives. The writing is lucid, insightful, and will be relevant for as long as time goes on.The drawings add to an already great work. At my favorite Lebanese restaurant, I not only found good food-I thankfully found Kahlil Gibran.
92 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 1998
Three years ago, my life was in the midst of extreme chaos and denial. Then 29 years-old, I had flown my eight-year old daughter to seek a much needed second opinion concerning her newly diagnosed brain tumor half-way across the US. While staying at The Ronald McDonald House in Houston, a place of housing for patients with special medical needs in the Houston area, I stumbled across "The Prophet" in the House's library. I read the entire book that night as my child slept, and it became evident that on some mystical level, I was meant to read Kalil's words of wisdom concerning pain, suffering and love. The book as also helped me to come to terms with my child's passing from this life onto the next and has been one of my inspirational tools in dealing with death, separation and acceptance.
87 of 99 people found the following review helpful
This is one of the first (literary) books I recall reading. My mother kept a collection of Gibran's works that she often read. I was curious to see what attracted her, so I looked into them too ( I was either eight or nine at the time). I believe that was my first taste of spirituality and seemed at the time more relevant than what I was being force-fed by nuns in catechism class. Rereading Gibran now, I'm struck by the notion that Hesse must have been aware of these texts before he wrote Siddhartha. They contain many of the same themes: No one else can guide you on your path. You must select your own course. Preachers and prophets are a dime a dozen. True wisdom comes from within.
The prophet's teaching on love is particularly relevant to me at this stage of my life:
"For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning. Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself. He threshes you to make you naked. He sifts you to free you from your husks. He grinds you to whiteness. He kneads you until you are pliant; And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast."
Look into these books. They may appear simplistic to the jaundiced eye, but they may also provide the inspiration you need to see you through life's travails.
42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2001
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet is a book that has touched many people very deeply since it's publishing in 1923. It has been translated into more than twenty languages, and the American edition alone has sold more than four million copies. It is considered both by Gibran himself, and by the general public to be his literary masterpiece. The Story is about a prophet leaving a town, and as he leaves he imparts some of his knowledge to the towns people. Gibran himself was born in Lebanon in 1883. He was a poet, artist, and philosopher. His fame and influence has spread through the world, superceding linguistic and cultural barriers. His poetry has been translated into more than twenty languages, and his drawings and paintings have been distributed and showcased all around the world. In the last twenty years of his life he lived in the United States, and began to write in English. The book The Prophet was written during this time period. His words and pictures change the way that people look at life, and people find them to be an expression of the deepest impulses of man's heart and mind. The Prophet is about a man who is leaving a small town called Orphalese where he has made his home for the past twelve years. He has, for that time period, been waiting for a boat to take him back to the land of his youth. We are not told where that land is, only that he has been waiting to return there for twelve years. The entire book occurs on the date of his departure. As he is about to leave, the townsfolk stop him in the town and request that he tell them about certain things. He talks to them about life's lessons and imparts his wisdom to them. He is asked about giving, and he tells the people to give without recognition, because their reward is their own joy. He also talks about things like marriage, work, friendship and also love. He speaks about each, and more, describing the way that people should deal with each issue. This book is an interesting book. It is ninety-three pages of life's lessons set down in writing. These are words to live by, and tell others to live by. This book is certainly a book that everyone should read. Even if people don't agree with some of the beliefs, they should still read the book, if only to get their mind thinking about life, and it's many quandaries from a different perspective. This book is not unlike the musings of an aging man imparting his life's lessons to an audience of just about anyone whom he can gather to listen to him. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's lessons and stories are wise beyond the ages, and still hold up to be as true today as they were when Gibran wrote them in 1923. The lessons enumerated within this pages are lessons that one would hope were followed by the general population, and I know that if more people read this book, then the world as a whole might become a more easily survivable place.
29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I am alive like you, and I am standing beside you.
Close your eyes and look around, you will see me in front of you.
~Gibran's words on his Epitaph
The Prophet captures the teachings of Kahlil Gibran in a comforting story that succinctly touches on everyday topics like love, giving, joy, sorrow, freedom, pain, teaching, friendship and beauty. Within each tiny chapter, profound moments can occur as we are given insight into unfamiliar territory, a place of thought not commonly existing in daily life but familiar to spiritual teachers.
Kahlil Gibran magically explores the connection between sorrow and joy and how the deeper the sorrow you experience, the more joy you can contain. Talking becomes thoughts that can no longer "dwell in the solitude of your heart" so they "live in your lips."
As Almustafa waits for a ship to take him back to the isle of his birth, he climbs a hill outside the city walls and looks out to sea. When his "ship arrives" he is suddenly filled with regret, yet knows he must follow his destiny and return home.
"Long were the days of pain I have spent within its walls, and long were the nights of aloneness; and who can depart from his pain and his aloneness without regret?"
The priests and priestesses ask him to remain in very poetic ways: "Let not the waves of the sea separate us now, and the years you have spent in our midst become a memory."
Almustafa only cries and doesn't seem to speak until a woman named Almitra appears. She is a woman who believed in him and he seems to have great fondness for her. We are not given any insight into their relationship, but his respect for her is unquestioned. She understands he must leave, but asks him to give the city his wisdom. She promises they will pass this wisdom down through the generations.
While viewing pictures of Bsharri in Northern Lebanon, the mountains and the mist are almost a unique doorway into Kahlil Gibran's mind. He lived in a lush region where cascading falls, rugged cliffs and cedar trees influenced his art and writing.
We can imagine his thoughts of home and this book was actually first imagined when he wrote a short story as a teenager. A Bostonian poet, Josephine Peabody, caught Gibran's attention at an art exhibition and she later referred to him as "her young prophet." She also wrote poems about Gibran's life and how she imagined his life in Bsharri. His life is woven into his writing in the most beautiful ways. He names his book for a woman he loves and his writing is infused with spiritual teachings and influences from his journey from Lebanon to New York.
The story has an unassuming plot, but the lessons are eternal and the ending is surprisingly tender. I was left with a sense of longing that is still drifting along with me like the mists of Bsharri. The Prophet is not just a book to read, it is a spiritual journey to experience. It may take three or more days to complete the reading of this tiny book. I could only read about a third at a time because it is saturated in wisdom and many of the chapters want to be read and read again, until they are absorbed into your soul and written on your heart.
"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." ~Kahlil Gibran
~The Rebecca Review
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2013
Please don't order this particular publication of "The Prophet". It is a poor reproduction, which is missing one of the most important components; the "Table of Contents". This is a book of prose with very close ties to each of the "Chapters" listed in the contents. It will be very disappointing to purchase a copy, without the reference to each chapter and it's title. Look at my other warnings, as this is the second of 5 different versions which Amazon Prime has sold & shipped to me, with this missing component.
The original book "The Prophet" is priceless, but it is very important to have the "Table of Contents". Ask Amazon for specifics and make sure the book is in it's original form!
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2000
I was first exposed to the Prophet some 20 years ago as a teenager. Since then, I have bought numerous copies and given them away to friends, family and love ones. In times of great distress, I have found comfort amongst the pages and peace within my own soul. I find this book, poetric, romantic and spiritual. It helps to make you FEEL what humanity is all about. It teaches you that sometimes the most simpliest of things to give, is that of yourself. I can't recommend this book enough. I think its a MUST READ for everyone...maybe then, we will look at our friends, our family and our neighbors in a new light....ENJOY !
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2006
The Prophet was given to me when I was 16 years old. As I grew to love and understand it, I made it a guideline for my development. It became my standard gift for my good friends weddings and Birthdays. I have loaned my copy out and not get it back, numerous times. Now I am 78 years old and am having to replace it again. Never have I found it so easy to buy and recieve. Thank You, Jean Logsdon