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The Prophet Hardcover – February 21, 1995
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In a distant, timeless place, a mysterious prophet walks the sands. At the moment of his departure, he wishes to offer the people gifts but possesses nothing. The people gather round, each asks a question of the heart, and the man's wisdom is his gift. It is Gibran's gift to us, as well, for Gibran's prophet is rivaled in his wisdom only by the founders of the world's great religions. On the most basic topics--marriage, children, friendship, work, pleasure--his words have a power and lucidity that in another era would surely have provoked the description "divinely inspired." Free of dogma, free of power structures and metaphysics, consider these poetic, moving aphorisms a 20th-century supplement to all sacred traditions--as millions of other readers already have. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Cadenced and vibrant with feeling, the words of Kahlil Gibran bring to one's ears the majestic rhythm of Ecclesiastes... If there is a man or woman who can read this book without a quiet acceptance of a great man's philosophy and a singing in the heart as of music born within, that man or woman is indeed dead to life and truth." --Chicago Post
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Top Customer Reviews
It is not hard to understand why Gibran was as popular in his day, and in the 1960's, as he was. Covering the landscape from religion to love, Gibran bubbles up deep truths in the form of a farewell speech from the Prophet to the people of his city before he sets sail on a final journey. The metaphors are numerous and the scale of depth is exceptional.
The book itself is nearly 100 pages, but the content is not readable at any level rapidly. This book is one that bears constant revival and renewal. It's a well that provides the reader with sweet water of wisdom which merits frequent draws to slake the thirst.
A must have and a must read.
The first time I read this book I was 15 years old. A great friend's father (a high school guidance counselor) gave it to me in an attempt to broaden my philosophical, intellectual and literary horizons. The book had the desired effect. I opened it that afternoon and did not put it down until I had read every last page in one sitting. I was transfixed. I finished reading it in approximately three hours, front to back. My philosophy, my world view and my life were all changed forever.
Tons of people have reviewed the textual content of the book but it is more than that. This work is arguably the greatest literary accomplishment of Gibran's lifetime and it isn't just textual. It is also textural. The Prophet is poetic and it inspires a sense of inner peace and harmony just by reading the words written on its pages; simple messages which resonated like a cannon in a young mind. As it turns out they still resonate in exactly the same way now that I am older. I have read The Prophet a total of 22 times during the course of my life and each time I read it I discover some new facet of my existence that I can apply its wisdom to.
Over the years I have shared this amazing book with loved ones, friends, coworkers, even a university professor, who to my great surprise, had never read it. This is a seminal work and should be required reading for any person who considers himself/herself to be 'educated'.
Aside from the passages in the Bible, this is the greatest work of literary art in existence. Whatever booksellers are charging nowadays for a copy of The Prophet, it is worth it.
Michael E. Burgess
What I found was a story that was easy to read. There are few words per page, covering the sayings of a wise man as he speaks to those around him. There is a kind of poetry in the words, but not the kind that is difficult to understand. The insights were both familiar and refreshing. It made me reconsider my notions of all aspects of life, although it was less a spiritual revolution than a gentle awakening.
I bought the hardcover. It is small and sits easily in one hand. The pages are made from a rich-feeling, textured paper that feels nice to the fingertips. And the text is printed in spacious and easy to read letters. Throughout the book are scattered drawings that Kahlil Gibran made. I like them. I feel they add to the experience of reading this book, although I can't quite put my finger on the reason.
While spiritual, it does not, as far as I could tell, convey any beliefs specific to any religion or even assume a readily recognizable god. Gibran says, "... the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks, than to the least of all the blades of grass." (pp 27-28) The notion of god that emerges from these pages is of a pervasive connectedness or oneness with nature and the universe.
When I first read it, I found some passages difficult to grasp. Looking back, I now think that it was not because they were hard to understand, but because I did not want to hear gently spoken, intelligently phrased ideas that contradicted my own. Now, if I could have only one book, this would probably be it.