Kahlil Gibran, third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi

“To be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession ... when you work you fulfill a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born.”

Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer of the New York Pen League.

  • Gibran was born in the town of Bsharri in the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, Ottoman Empire (north of modern-day Lebanon), to Khalil Gibran and Kamila Gibran (Rahmeh).
  • As a young man Gibran immigrated with his family to the United States, where he studied art and began his literary career, writing in both English and Arabic.
  • In the Arab world, Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, especially prose poetry, breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, he is still celebrated as a literary hero.

He is chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book The Prophet, an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose. The book sold well despite a cool critical reception, gaining popularity in the 1930s and again especially in the 1960s counterculture. Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi.

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