Monday, September 13, 2010

Kahlil Gibran, the Poet On Friendship

"In the sweetness of friendship, let there be laughter..." The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Written in his best known English language volume, The Prophet, poet, philosopher and artist Gibran writes about the subject of friendship most importantly. He, Gibran, the son of a Maronite Priest was born in Lebanon in the late 19th century. His family immigrated to the United States and lived in Boston when the poet was about 12 years old. He became a US citizen and lived the better part of his life there. He is often mistakenly thought of as a middle easterner and not Christian. But the contrary is entirely true. Even so, his strong family ties to Ottoman Syria, modern day Lebanon is clear throughout his works.

His poetic interests were most often spiritual themes; he often wrote about love. His long relationship to Mary Haskell is thought to have inspired much of his work. Writing in his tender, passionate way, Gibran reveals a depth and awareness over time that contributed to the making of his fame.

Kahlil Gibran on Friendship

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 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
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.

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