AND a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying:
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you with hold the “aye.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unclaimed.
when you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
The above is a prose poem extracted from The Prophet, Gibran’s most famous work.
Did you know that Kahlil Gibran is the third best selling poet of all time? Have you ever wondered why he has been and still is so popular? Interested to see what others thought I did some research. The best articles I came up with were from the BBC and that was a surprise too. I always had the impression that he was spurned by the literati. Another fact that interests me is that (according to Wikipedia) his third placing follows Shakespeare and Laozi. Shakespeare certainly has a fine understanding of human behaviour. And it seems Laozi had the same gift. Gibran certainly has it.
If you have often pondered his popularity yourself, I recommend the BBC article entitled Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet: Why is it so loved? Read it here
If you want to learn about The Man Behind The Prophet, another article from the BBC, go here. If you scroll down you can also watch a video on the museum built in his honour in Lebanon. Both these articles are easy to read. And there are images of his artwork. Well worth a visit.
And now you can pop over to Tuesday Poem where, Claire Beynon is this week’s editor with an unusual poem called News from the Island by Tracey Sullivan.