Dienstag, März 21, 2006


The Arab writer, poet and painter Khalil Gibran is one of my favorite artists who is like a good friend for me since my early days.

Born in Bsharri in Lebanon he immigrated with his family to the USA when he was 12 years old. He lived in Boston for two years. In Boston he met the photographer Fred Holland Day who befriended young Khalil and had a significant artistic and intellectual impact of him.

At the age of 14 Khalil returned to Lebanon attending al-Hikmah high school in Beirut, where he pursued a reformist Arabic curriculum. He also studies religion and ethics.

At the age of 19 Khalil Gibran returned to Boston where he met Mary Haskell, an American school headmistress who supported promising young orphans. It is owing to Mary that he will be able to devote himself to his painting.

In 1905, at the age of 22 Gibran publishes a slight collection of essays at the al-Muhajir Press, on "Music." Encouraged by the director of the al-Muhajir newspaper, Gibran begins publishing the prose poems that will later be collected into Arabic books such as "A Tear and a Smile" and "Storms"
In 1906 Gibran published Spirit Brides (`Ará'is al-Murúj) in New York in Arabic and two years later Gibran published a second book of short stories in Arabic, "Spirits Rebellious". At 25 years of age, Gibran began his two-year stay in Paris, paid for by Mary Haskell, where he studied painting and was influenced by the reigning school of Symbolism.

In 1914 the Arabic anthology of his newspaper prose poems, "A Tear and a Smile," was published in New York by Nasib Arida. Also his paintings were exhibited at Montross Gallery on Fifth Avenuev ... a rare success, since most galleries resisted Gibran's work on grounds of its excessive nudity and modernism.

In 1923 appeared his famous " THE PROPHET ". Its lyricism and simple style make it an immediate and considerable success.

In 1931 Khalil Gibran died at the age of 48 in a New York hospital.

Here is an excerpt of "THE PROPHET":

On Friendship

And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."

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 withhold the "ay."
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 unacclaimed.
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.


Blogger Trudging said...

So that is what he look like... A friend of mine introduced me to him in college. We had his poem on children read at our wedding!!!

12:52 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Trudging:
Oh, that's interesting, Trudge! Therefore you are such cool mother, aren't you? :-)

1:16 nachm.  
Blogger Ryan said...

u open so many doors 2 things and people i know nothing about but should thanx!

2:30 nachm.  
Blogger Sujay Sukumar said...

Thanks for adding my blog as a link. I have added your blog as a link too.

I am eagerly waiting for your painting that you said has a connect with one of my posts.

I did not know what Khalil Gibran looked like. thanks for the pic. The poem is very nice.

Your blog has everything Art,Human Values, Prose,Poetry and Information.

I'm your fan.

5:24 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Ryan:
In the ancient Greece the friendship between older and younger men was quite normal, but it's an error to believe that such a relationship served only for a carnal satisfaction :-)!
The older man was like a teacher, a mentor for the younger one and this is also my ideal and I hope that you will do the same like me when you will be sometime an old man too!:-)

Besides: Has Mikey got my email I sent to him yesterday???

Uncle Castor

6:12 nachm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Sujay Sukumur:
You are welcome and thank YOU for your compliments and for linking me on your blog too :-)
I hold you in high regard, Sujay, since I've read something of you! I like you in a similar way as I like Prmod. What an interesting virtually meeting between him, you and me...

On Thursday I'll dedicate my post to you, Sujay, so that Khalhil Gibran and you will be in immediate vicinity! :-)

6:52 nachm.  
Blogger Prerona said...

co incidence or what!?!
i was just looking for a KG quote! rather an old post where I had quoted from prophet. this was when i was leaving texas (how do u say goodbye to your sorrow). its wonderful, the book. but somehow I always feel that something was lost in translation. wish I could have read the original

11:55 nachm.  
Blogger Prerona said...

and what a pic - never thought he looked like that!

11:56 nachm.  
Blogger Brad said...

Simply beautiful! The poem AND the pic!

4:49 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Prerona:
Sometimes things happen and we don't know why :-) or was it kinda telepathy :-)?
Sorry, I didn't read the original too, because I only know the most important expression in Arabic language ... but I think that Khalil knew the translation very well!

8:23 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Brad:
Yes he was handsome and his thoughts were beautiful too and true ...

8:25 vorm.  
Blogger Prmod Bafna said...

That was quite a fitting presentation! I've come across a lot of his works.. but never knew what he looked like.. Its always a pleasure to come by and open new doors like ryan said.. :)

10:57 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

to Prmod Bafna:
Thnk you :-) The pleasure is mine, Prmod! :-)

11:26 vorm.  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

This man is so cool. I have featured him on my 'Whispering Grass' site recently.

9:27 vorm.  
Blogger castor said...

OMG, you have a lot of other sites! I've never seen them!!!
Thanks for your advice to go there, C.J!!!

12:46 nachm.  
Blogger temppixie said...

I had his book given to me over 10 yrs ago, and still read it when needing guidance. My favorites are unless you know great sorrow , you cannot know great joy. Also about children, having to fire them out like arrows from our heart. A good mantra to stand by.

6:55 nachm.  

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