on January 27, 2002
Kahlil Gilbran's masterpiece has always been considered THE PROPHET. In addition to writing this profound and inspiring poetry, he composed 12 other books of verses. However, none of these are as renown as THE PROPHET. In fact, many Americans who love THE PROPHET don't realize the existence of his other work. This is too bad.
THE MADMAN was first published in 1918. Although written nearly 100 years ago, it remains timely. In addition, it was Gibran's first published verse. It went out of print several years ago, but has recently been made available. This book of verse is a real treasure. Of all Gilbran's writing, THE MADMAN is my favorite. In fact, I like it more than THE PROPHET. I found it thoughtful, insightful and most importantly self reflecting.
on January 25, 2003
Throughout this brief collection by Kahlil Gibran is the theme of rejecting and shedding the superficial, outer, social masks and embracing the inner or true Self - Soul. Gibran characterizes one who has done so as a madman - one who has tapped into the vein of Spirit, and appears to others to be 'drunk on God'. Though some pages come across like a bizarre Aesop's fables, it is his 'Madman' character who voices this theme repeatedly throughout.
In "The Gravedigger", he surrenders an old self without attachment or grief, but with joy and laughter.
In "The Greater Sea" he rejects the social traps of the physical world and seeks something higher.
In "Faces" he looks beyond the physical to view the true countanence of Soul.
In "The Eye" his 3rd or 'spiritual' eye sees that which his other senses cannot.
Yet, the greatest of these is the first page and a half (untitled, I assume its called "The Madman") which captures the essence of this drinking straight from the well of Soul. It amazes me each time I read it and is alone worth the price of the book.
on March 1, 2011
With The Prophet, I had a good idea of where and, to some extent, how Gibran was going to spiritually/emotionally clobber me, but with The Madman I did not.
In The Madman, Gibran hit me from all angles, with little warning.... I sent a friend the text for "My Friend", and was told that I wasn't allowed to hit him with stuff like that out of the blue. He picked up a copy shortly after that.