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Broken Wings

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0140195514
ISBN-10: 0140195513
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Lyrical and dynamic, free from the rhetorical flourishes common in traditional Middle Eastern literature, Kahlil Gibrans early short stories, prose poems, and vignettesall written in Arabicmade a profound impact on his fellow immigrants in America and on his fellow writers in his native region long before The Prophet made him a best-selling English author in 1923. Now White Cloud Press has launched a series of contemporary translationsdesigned to replace the generally inaccurate ones issued after his death in 1931of Gibrans most significant work. Publishers Weekly -- Publisher Comments --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Arabic
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Compass
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140195513
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140195514
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,499,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Broken Wings is a simple story which serves as a canvas for Kahlil Gibran's flights of beautiful prose and philosophical insight. Gibran's prose is simply redolent with images. His evocative narration paints pictures with words which both took me away and taught me. Gibran's point is so much more clear and simply arresting for the crispness of his imagery, such as when he writes: "Those ample treasure chests that the energy of the father and the thrift of the mother fill up are transformed into dark, narrow prison cells for their heirs. That mighty deity whom the people worship in the form of money metamorphoses into a horrifying demon who tortures the people and kills the heart." (p.51)
There were several thoughts of Gibran's that I found similarly significant. In talking about the blossoming of love, Gibran writes that love is not "born of long association and unbroken companionship." Instead, he writes, it is "the daughter of a spiritual understanding, and if that understanding is not achieved in a single moement, it will never be attained -- not in a year, not in a whole century" (p. 41). My limited experience leads me to believe precisely this. Likewise, I agreed with Gibran when he writes that "Limited love demands possession of the beloved, but infinite love desires only its own essence" (p. 97).
If Gibran has a fundamental message in Broken Wings, though, I think that it is surrounding the tension or balance between putting everything that we can into our love and our endeavors, and the need to contextualize that love or endeavor in such a way that it does not consume that which we are. Gibran's narrator struggles with this tension. He wants to spirit Salma away to a life of true love.
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Format: Paperback
One day it is my dream to pay hommage to my great teacher of life, Khalil Gibran. And I would like to go to his grave site in Lebanon and have a copy of "The Broken Wings" to read for his spirit.I think that tears (under certain conditions) are a cleanser to the human soul, and no literature piece has ever moved me as much as Gibrans Broken Wings. If there is ONE book that I will recommend, let it be the "Broken Wings". May Gibrans wisdom, art, passions, and art accompany you for the rest of your life.
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In the Broken Wings, Gibran touches a variety of subjects like love, plight of women, hypocracy of self serving religious heads, false values on which human socities are built, and true prayer and sacrifice. And all is told in very few majestically beautiful words without malice to any one.
"Love is the only freedom in the world because it so elevates the spirit that laws of humanity do not alter its course."
" Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and ..........is created in a moment."
Gibran says of the plight of the women by describing them as
" the bird with broken wings in a cage."
Of heads of religions, Gibran says, "Thus the Christian Bishop and the Moslem imam and the Brahman priest are like sea reptiles who clutch their prey with many tentacles and suck their blood with numerous mouths." How true are these words!
Gibran tells how "in some countries, the parent's wealth is a source of misery for the children."
Yet the woman in the story, although falling in the abyss of miseries, prays "help me, my Lord, to be strong in this deadly struggle and assist me to be truthful and virtuous until death. Thy will be done, oh Lord God."
And finally she sacrifices her own life fot he sake of her beloved thus bringing glory to "sacrifice."
Tears rolled down my cheeks while reading the tragic end of the story. But I felt these tears have cleansed my spirit.
The reading of The Broken Wings is a must for any one who wants to experience a tearful smile or a sorrowful joy or miseries for a true prayer.
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Gibran says, "I was eighteen years of age when love opened my eyes with its magic rays and touched my spirit for the first time with its fiery fingers and Selma Karamy was the first woman who awakened my spirit with her beauty and led me into the garden of high affection, where days pass like dreams and nights like weddings."

In his typical lyrical prose, interlaced with subtle imagery and deep philosophy, Kibran creates a masterpiece of first love. The story is poignant, and is full of platonic ideals, so characteristic of first love, especially in the East. I say so, as in the East, be it South Asia or the Middle East, first love is a cherished territory where spirituality overwhelms every idea of sexuality. The prose is delightful in content as well as intent, and is laced with a wisdom, so reminiscent of his most famous work, the Prophet.

Gibran always wrote short novels, and this one too is a short, but intense read. The sentences are rich with poetic descriptions, and the way author describes nature and love is refreshing, soothing, and beautiful.

I recommend Gibran to one and all. His writings may not appeal to you if you are looking for cheap thrills, but if you pine for a love story that defies the usual pot-broiler stuff, a love story full of purity and selflessness, read this one.
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