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The Prophet

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

By Kahlil Gibran

First edition, 2019. Illustrations by Kahlil Gibran. Dundee: Evertype. ISBN 978-1-78201-230-6 (paperback), price: €11.95, £8.95, $14.95.

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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 “aye”.
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.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is 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.
   
Friendship
The Prophet is a book of 26 fables written in English prose poetry by the Lebanese-American poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran. It was first published in 1923 and is Gibran’s best known work. The Prophet has been translated into over 100 languages, making it one of the most translated books in history. It has never been out of print.

The narrative introduces us to the Prophet Almustafa, who has waited twelve years for his ship, which will finally take him back to his homeland. Before leaving, some inhabitants of the city of Orphalese ask him to convey to them his insights on various topics for the last time (“Speak to us of…”). The Prophet relates 26 sermons that deal with basic questions of human life, such as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punish­ment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and finally death. In the final chapter, Almustafa interweaves a discussion about the question of meaning into his parting words.


   

 
HTML Michael Everson, Evertype, 19A Corso Street, DD2 1DR, Scotland, 2019-12-12

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