NOTE: I had saved this post as a draft for a few days, hoping to post it on the 10th of April, though given the circumstances which may (or may not) occur in Jeruselum tomorrow, I figured this man deserved a day of his own.
1883 – 1931
“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 Lebanese poet, philosopher and artist died on this day, April 10th 1933. In the Arab world we regard him as a literary genius, writing some of the most influential poetry that (I believe) has ever been uttered in the literary corridors of the modern world; especially the Middle East. His poetry has been translated into more than 20 languages. His paintings exhibited in the great capitals of the world and compared by Auguste Rodin to the work of William Blake. He spent the last 20 years of his life in America and began to write in English.
The man was a perfectionist of the written word. Of The Prophet he said: “I think I’ve never been without The Prophet since I first conceived the book back in Mount Lebanon. It seems to have been a part of me…I kept the manuscript four years before I delivered it over to my publisher because I wanted to be sure, I wanted to be very sure, that every word of it was the very best I had to offer.”
But should my voice fade in your ears, and my love vanish in your memory, then I will come again,
And with a richer heart and lips more yielding to the spirit will I speak.
Yea, I shall return with the tide,
And though death may hide me, and the greater silence enfold me, yet again will I seek your understanding.
And not in vain will I seek.
If aught I have said is truth, that truth shall reveal itself in a clearer voice, and in words more kin to your thoughts.
I go with the wind, people of Orphalese, but not down into emptiness;
And if this day is not a fulfillment of your needs and my love, then let it be a promise till another day.
Know therefore, that from the greater silence I shall return.”
– The Prophet (the farewell), Khalil Gibran
Posted In: Art