The Prophet

by Khalil Gibran

The Prophet is Gibran’s famous collection of poetic essays. Framed as a prophet preparing to leave a place he’s lived for over a decade, he imparts his final words of wisdom to the people he loves, those who have come to love him back, who listen in rapt attention.

And these words affected me deeply. I got a sense that The Prophet was written with feeling and clarity, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. I read through the text multiple times before feeling comfortable writing about it, and, each time, something different stuck with me, while previously meaningful passages almost felt less so. It’s like a river, with everything flowing and churning and the whole just blends together. You see it just as a single entity, and then a smaller piece comes properly into view, and you start to understand that the parts are different than the whole, and the lucidity hits. I find that the meaning I glean from the bits that stand out has something to do with my subliminal self, something I may unknowingly be working through or struggling with, and it’s the act of seeing these eloquent, directed words that makes me aware. In this way, Gibran’s poems act as a gateway to the soul.

I mean, it’s possible that what I’ve gone through recently has shaped me into more of a sentimental fool, and that’s what’s framing my reception of The Prophet, but reading it felt good, it felt right. It’s also felt healing, refreshing, especially when placed beside more dry readings for my professional development and other recent educational pursuits. In this way, these poems act as more than a gateway to the soul, but, to borrow Gibran’s words, as food for the soul also. I very sincerely plan to read this again and again.