kahlil gibran

Poet, philosopher and artist, Kahlil Gibran was born near Mount Lebanon on the 6th January, 1883.  His writings have been translated into more than twenty languages and his drawings and paintings have been exhibited all over the world.  He died in New York in 1931.

The pieces on this page were all written by Kahlil Gibran.


- Children -

Your children are not your children.

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 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 backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.


-- Said a Sheet of Snow-White Paper -

Said a sheet of snow-white paper, "Pure was I created, and pure will I remain forever. I wou,ld rather be burnt and turn to white ashes than suffer darkness to touch me or the unclean to come near me."

The ink-bottle heard what the paper was saying, and it laughed in its dark heart; but it never dared to approach her. And the multicoloured pencils heard her also, and they too never came near her.

And the snow-white sheet of paper did remain pure and chaste forever, pure and chaste -- and empty.


- The Dancer -

Once there came to the court of the prince of Birkasha a dancer with her musicians. And she was admitted to the court, and she danced before the prince to the music of the lute and the flute and the zither.

She danced the dance of flames, and the dance of swords and spears; she danced the dance of stars and the dance of space. And then she danced the dance of flowers in the wind.

After this she stood before the throne of the prince and bowed her body before him. And the prince bade her to come nearer, and he said unto her, "Beautiful woman, daughter of grace and delight, whence comes your art? And how is it that you command all the elements in your rhythms and your rhymes?"

And the dancer bowed again before the prince, and she answered, "mighty and gracious Majesty, I know not the answer to your questionings. Only this I know - the philosopher's soul dwells in his head, the poet's soul is in his heart, the singer's soul lingers about his throat, but the soul of the dancer abides in all her body."


- Values -

Once a man unearthed in his field a marble statue of great beauty. And he took it to a collector who loved all beautiful things and offered it to him for sale, and the collector bought it for a large price. And they parted.

And as the man walked home with his money he thought and he said to himself, "How much life this money means! How can anyone give all this for a dead carved stone buried and undreamed of in the earth for a thousand years?"

And now the collector was looking at his statue, and he was thinking and he said to himself, "What beauty! What life! The dream of what a soul! - and fresh with the sweet sleep of a thousand years. How can anyone give all this for money, dead and dreamless?"


The reality of the other person is not in what he reveals to you, but in what he cannot reveal to you. Therefore, if you would understand him, listen not to what he says, but rather to what he does not say.


A madman is not less a musician than you or myself; only the instrument on which he plays is a little out of tune.


Turtles can tell more about the roads than hares.


He who does not see the angels and devils in the beauty and malice of life will be far removed from knowledge, and his spirit will be empty of affection.


Men who do not forgive women their little faults will never enjoy their great virtues.


The song that lies silent in the heart of a mother sings upon the lips of her child.


Our worst fault is our preoccupation with the faults of others.




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