The Prophet represents the acme of Kahlil Gibran’s achievement. Writing in English, Gibran adopted the tone and cadence of King James I’s Bible, fusing his personalised Christian philosophy with a spirit and oriental wisdom that derives from the richly mixed influences of his native Lebanon.
Some of My Favorite Quotes from the Book
Although this is a fairly small book, it contains some of the best literature I’ve ever been exposed to. I couldn’t choose only one or two quotes, I had to share this beautiful work of art.
And ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.Page 4, Lines 10—11
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.Page 6, Lines 10—12
Love posses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
When you love you should not say, ‘God is in my heart,’ but rather, ‘I am in the heart of God.’Page 6, Lines 13—16
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Your children are not your children.Page 8, Lines 4—15
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.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which 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 backwards nor tarries with yesterday.
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.Page 16, Line 3
And how else can it be?Page 16, Lines 6—8
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.Page 19, Lines 12—13
Forget not that modesty is for a shield against the eye of the unclean.Page 20, Lines 17—18
Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured.Page 24, Line 18
What of the old serpent who cannot shed his skin, and calls all others naked and shameless?Page 26, Lines 18—19
And knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.Page 38, Lines 10—11
You are good when you strive to give of yourself.Page 39, Lines 15—16
Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.Page 51, Lines 1—2
To measure you by your smallest deed is to reckon the power of ocean by the frailty of its foam.Page 54, Lines 14—17
To judge you by your failures is to cast blame upon the seasons for their inconsistency.
Whenever you pass by the field where you have laid your ancestors look well thereupon, and you shall see yourselves and your children dancing hand in hand.Page 55, Lines 13—15
But the hunter was also the hunted;Page 57, Lines 4—6
For many of my arrows left my bow only to seek my own breast.