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The Prophet Hardcover – Sep 12 1923


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf (Sept. 12 1923)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394404289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394404288
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 1.5 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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In a distant, timeless place, a mysterious prophet walks the sands. At the moment of his departure, he wishes to offer the people gifts but possesses nothing. The people gather round, each asks a question of the heart, and the man's wisdom is his gift. It is Gibran's gift to us, as well, for Gibran's prophet is rivaled in his wisdom only by the founders of the world's great religions. On the most basic topics--marriage, children, friendship, work, pleasure--his words have a power and lucidity that in another era would surely have provoked the description "divinely inspired." Free of dogma, free of power structures and metaphysics, consider these poetic, moving aphorisms a 20th-century supplement to all sacred traditions--as millions of other readers already have. --Brian Bruya

Review

"His power came from some great reservoir of spiritual life, else it could not have been so universal and so potent, but the majesty and beauty of the language with which he clothed it were all his own" -- Claude Bragdon "It's packed full of poems and sonnets and words of wisdom. Inspirational stuff" -- Tamzin Outhwaite Daily Express "It was all the rage in the 60s, when it was almost like a bible to me. To any question, there was always a simple answer" -- Cynthia Lennon Mail on Sunday "A book that changed me ... was The Prophet by Khalil Gibran, which has passages about every section of life. My parents gave me a copy when I left home; it's a bit of a family Bible" -- Julia Bradbury Independent on Sunday --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L. Power HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Jan. 16 2009
Format: Hardcover
A prophet has waited twelve years in a coastal town for the ship that will bear him back to his homeland, which he misses.

Why he is there, why he is waiting, how he knows what he knows, and who he is is a mystery. As he departs the townspeople gather to wish him well. A local seeress who knows him best asks him to share his wisdom so that it will endure for generations to come.

So, he reveals his wisdom on love, birth, marriage, children, pain, talking, pleasure, death any so much more.

It is a profound work, and here is his advice on marriage so you may judge for yourself:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Its not a little similar to the Tao Te Ching, where a border guard recognises Lao Tzu, and asks him to share his wisdom as he goes into exile.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shirley Priscilla Johnson on July 4 2004
Format: Hardcover
If I have ever read a book that is timeless, other than the Word of God, it would have to be this one. Although I may not have agreed with every word written, so many of the words of wisdom within these pages brought peace and comfort to me.
I read this book many, many years ago. I quoted from it at times and thought of it often. The words seemed to wrap themselves around your heart and spring out in times of need. There are not many books that can stake that claim, and I have read many.
A classic in my opinion and a book that will never be outdated.
Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Sean McLaughlin on June 4 2003
Format: Hardcover
Khalil Gibran's The Prophet is a truly awe inspiring work of prosaic poetry. Despite being a native-born Arabic speaker, Gibran wrote The Prophet in English, ensuring that his powerful words lost nothing in translation.
The work's 28 short chapters recount the words of a prophet as he leaves his home to depart on a new journey. The words that flow from the prophet's mouth and onto the pages are philosophical and spiritual treatises on all aspects of life. Chapters discuss the range of human experiences and include discussions such as "On Friendship", "On Pain" and "On Death." What unites the 28 chapters is Gibran's thought provoking and probing literary style as Gibran's prophet invokes his listeners to live life to the fullest. The book is not overtly religious but every word and sentence is filled with a spiritual clarity.
The book is eminently quotable with every chapter providing a nugget of truth worthy of repeating. Amazingly, Gibran packs his masterpiece into less than 100 pages, making it a very quick and easy read. Readers will find themselves returning to The Prophet again and again to recapture the beauty of Gibran's words.
The Prophet, which Gibran himself recognized as his greatest masterpiece, is a timeless literary classic. Its truth has touched generations of readers and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott A. Shay on July 14 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
The Prophet is one of my all-time favorite books. Gibran's writing is ingenious and The Prophet has definitely earned it's place in the canon of spiritual classics and masterpieces of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the audiobook version does not live up to the original text. Sparer's reading is blase' at best: uninteresting, uninspired and uninspiring ... plain dull. He merely read the words but put no heart or soul into them. I whole-heartedly recommend the book to everyone but the audiobook, no....I was very disappointed; I couldn't even finish listening. I wish someone would resurrect the Richard Harris recording -- that one was excellent!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christina on Nov. 15 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful piece of literature. It is in the top five of my favorite books. I have read it over and over again and each time I find new wisdom. Kahlil's words will strike your heart.
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By JAD on Jan. 5 2004
Format: Hardcover
Most stories have some sort of existential or spiritual point to make. Gibran's story has many. But unlike most books this one sacrifices length and plot, employing a simple and poetic (in prose) directness in order to tell us not so much the meaning of life as how to live. The prophet in Gibran's story is asked by his people to talk about everything from the law to pain and death. And his sermons are both instructive and profound without being over righteous or narcissistic. In fact, so carefully woven and universal is Gibran's prose that one could conceivably adopt The Prophet as some sort of new age holy book. This would, of course, not only be potentially unwise but also unnecessary since its foundations are clearly derived from Judeo-Christian spiritual values. It certainly does not square with many eastern religions in its almost excessive romanticization of notions such as good, evil and God. And even for western readers, it is probably most valuable when considered as an eloquent reminder of our own spiritual heritage. I will keep this book and undoubtedly reread it many times over for its depth and wisdom. It isn't easy to write a modern set of spiritual aphorisms without sounding awkward, cliched, or downright wrong. But Gibran manages it with a natural attractiveness and spiritual sincerity that has assured its status as a modernized tome of timeless spiritual values.
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