My mom gave me my now well-thumbed copy for my high school graduation.
Each time I read it I take something new. Poetry has the power to do that for us – to reshape, bend and respond to specificities throughout our lives.
As an 18-year-old I couldn’t have known how well I would come to know the same streets Gibran walked, or marvel at the Public Library near his commemoration, or how often I would return to his words seeking each time a different salve.
“You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore…
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.”
“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.”
“You are not enclosed within your bodies, nor confined to houses or fields.
That which is you dwells above the mountain and roves with the wind.”
On true value:
“And if there come the singers and the dancers and the flute players,-buy of their gifts also.
For they too are gatherers of fruit and frankincense, and that which they bring, though fashioned of dreams, is raiment and food for your soul.”
And on death:
“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
…Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance.”