Should I know about Khalil Gibran

Having found a link to his works and reading some of his shorter works it seems this should be a very famous person. In fact I susspect he is or was. So should I and others who hadn’t previously, have heard of him. Is he important or excentric?

The Scarecrow, from The Madman by Gibran Khalil Gibran

Once I said to a scarecrow, "You must be tired of standing in this lonely field.”
And he said, “The joy of scaring is a deep and lasting on, and I never tire of it.”
Said I, after a minute of thought, “It is true; for I too have known that joy.”
Said he, “Only those who are stuffed with straw can know it.”
Then I left him, not knowing whether he had complimented or belittled me.
A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher.
And when I passed by him again I saw two crows building a nest under his hat.

Gibran was very, very popular in the sixties. I don’t know why his fame has faded. His writing seems timeless, so maybe he’ll be rediscovered.

When my husband and I were married in 1980, we used some verses from Gibran in our wedding vows.

I recommend his stuff, too. It’s been a long time since I’ve read any, and I’ve forgotten the titles, but some of it still sticks in my head.

I think his work “The Prophet” is probably his best known. I read some of it in high school English classes, and it also has a number of passages popular for weddings.

Early in my senior year of High School, (1969) I met the girl of my dreams.
We met at a dance and began dating. I beleived she was my High School sweetheart and I quickly fell in Love with her. We studied together at the Library, enjoyed fantastic dates and planned to go to the Coronation. Through this beginning relationship there were awkward moments of distance and silence. She was sitting beside me in the car but not saying anything. This was killing me inside and I could not understand why…
A book by Khalil Gibran was circulating in Art Class and I picked it up one morning. It seemed like my immediate destiny as I opened to a page that said,

 "Love and Doubt are never on speaking terms"

I instantly new that my Love was gone and my dreams with her were shattered.
Khalil was right and I have never forgotten the passage or the pain.

Were there any weddings in the 70s and 80s that didn’t include some Gibran?

John Lennon included some Gibran paraphrases in the song Julia.

He was popular enough to be satirized in a book titled The Profit.

Surely **pinkfreud **is right … he must be due for a rediscovery soon.

I think it’s already going on.

My wife and I used passages from The Prophet and that was six years ago, so hopefully the rediscovery is happening. I stumbled across his work while in high school in the late 90s.

He was the Rod McKuen of philosophy. He had a marvelous ability to turn a phrase that sounded like it meant something, and was pretty, and nice to quote, but when actually examined turned out to be merely gold plate on a tin watch.

I don’t think he’s gone out of fashion for weddings since the '60s – I’ve heard readings at every other wedding I’ve been to since, well, I can remember.

Gibran is to wedding vows what Pachelbel is to wedding music.

Or, perhaps, a silver-plated turd?

Unfortunately, Thoughts and Meditations isn’t online, or else I’d link you to his essay of that name :).

I loved his writings as a teenager, and read a fair amount about him. Some folks called him the Shakespeare of the Arabic language; from my understanding, he’s immensely popular in his home state of Lebanon and fairly popular throughout the Middle East. I find that most of his writings are pretty easily understood, and often betray a sly sense of humor.

Some of my favorite passages are from The Madman. A few examples (note that the work appears to be public domain):

The Prophet is full of wonderfully provoking passages, of course; but The Madman is smartasseder.