Kahlil Gibran “You are far greater then you know, and all is well.”
Kahlil Gibran, author of The Prophet, was born into an impoverished life in Bsharri, Lebanon in 1883. From the time Gibran could walk, he would seek out paper to draw on, and if he was unable to find paper, he would use his chalk to draw on the walls of his home. Unable to afford a formal education, the village priest taught Gibran biblical stories and legends of Lebanon.
In 1895 Gibran immigrated to America with his Mother, older brother and two younger sisters. They settled in the south end of Boston in tenements with other immigrants from Lebanon. He quickly became an outstanding pupil, and his talent for drawing and sketching captivated his teachers, who put him in touch with a man who would lead Gibran on his artistic path.
Gibran was introduced to the eccentric artist Fred Holland Day in 1896. Day took Gibran in as a protégé when he discovered his “natural genius” and began teaching him everything about the enthralling world of art and literature. In 1898, at only 15 years old, his drawings and illustrations could be seen in books, giving him his first taste of fame.
Gibran decided to go back to Lebanon in 1898 to finish his education and study the Arabic culture. He graduated from college in 1902 and returned to America to find that his sister had passed away and his mother had been diagnosed with cancer. Among this sorrow, he found an outlet within his art and had his first art exhibit in 1904. At this exhibit he met Mary friend and financier for his art schooling in France and the beginnings of his career.
Haskell, who became his life long
In 1908, Gibran began to write Arabic literature that was published around the world. He soon found that New York was where he would gain real fame among writers and artists with his English publication in 1918, The Madman. Encouraging reviews of his work helped drive Gibran to write his next and most famous publication, The Prophet.
In 1923, The Prophet was published and immediately captured the attention of readers, selling over 100,000 copies in its first years. The book contained “the voice of the East” and revealed the philosophy and mystery that Gibran prided himself on. The book is made up of 26 poetic essays told from the point of view of a man preparing for a journey discussing joy, pain, love, sorrow, and identity. It is filled with prose that inspires and ignites questions about the mystery of life. The Prophet is one of the most highly regarded writings of the twentieth century.
In 1928 Gibran’s health began to deteriorate, and he began to drink excessively to escape the pain. At the age of 48 on April 10, 1931 Kahlil Gibran died of liver cancer. Both New York City and his hometown in Lebanon staged two-day vigils for him.
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