Poetry Sunday: On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Kahlil Gibran was a Lebanese-American writer and visual artist. He is known for writing very philosophical works, although he himself rejected the title of philosopher. His most famous work probably is The Prophet which is one of the best-selling books of all time and has been translated into more than 100 different languages. This is one of his more well-known poems. It speaks to what it means to be a parent.

On Children

by Kahlil Gibran - 1883-1931

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
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 they 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.

Comments

  1. It is probably monumental ignorance on my part that I did not know that Kahlil Gibran was American. The words you have chosen for us today are not only wonderful, but oh so true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was an immigrant as were and are so many who have contributed to our culture. He was born in Lebanon and his family immigrated to America when he was a teenager.

      Delete
  2. memorable... it's amazing that he was able to overcome his personal problems to the point of providing such poetic insights...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is amazing how many famous writers have led troubled lives.

      Delete
  3. I've never been into poetry yet, Gilbran's The Prophet was one I purchased at read often. Each is so moving and thought provoking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read The Prophet many years ago during my early “hippie” period. It was an extremely popular read back then. I don’t know if it’s still read that much

      Delete
  4. I hate to say that I'd never heard of this man or this poem but I'm so glad you've brought it to my attention. I love this.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I didn't know Gibran was an American. I'm pretty sure we didn't study any of his works in school but I have heard of him - never read The Prophet. I did read this poem a long time ago, before I was a parent. It should be required reading for every knew parent. The imagery is so fantastic - the house of tomorrow, and the archer, especially, because it is so true.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honestly, I had not realized that he was an immigrant to this country until I looked up his biography last week.

      Delete
  6. Love this! Thanks for sharing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I haven't read The Prophet in many decades, but have a little notebook I kept as a teenager where I wrote some of it's lines.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the book had a profound impact on many of us.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Poetry Sunday: Excerpt from The Cure at Troy by Seamus Heaney

Open Season (Joe Pickett #1) by C.J. Box - A review

Poetry Sunday: Invitation by Mary Oliver