The Prophet - an orientalist poetry book in line with the Western World

Rassiq Aziz Kabir | Sunday, 16 January 2022

"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."

The excerpt id from Lebanese-American writer Kahlil Gibran’s poetry book The Prophet, which, in ways, can be regarded as one of the finest works of modern philosophy in the form of poetry despite having the crown of being one of the best- selling books of all time.

The book consists of many fables which touch on a lot of different aspects of human life and strive towards a gentle and kind approach when it comes to living.
There are 26 pieces of prose in total and each of the prose encompasses one or more aspects of human nature as well as advice on living.

The main protagonist of the book is a prophet named Al Mustafa who is homebound after a huge period of time spent in a city named Orphalese. On his way back home, a group of people stop him and ask him about various conditions and aspects of human life.

The prophet gives advice about love, expresses his own philosophy on joy, suffering and a myriad of different streams concerning human well being and the intricacies of day to day life.

The poetic undertone of the statements made by the protagonist Al Mustafa in the book has made it one of the most quotable books of all time and a lot of quotes that we see circulating around the internet nowadays have their origin in the book.

Although the book might appear to be a bit archaic when it comes to the usage of the language as the literary language used in the poem is, in no way, anything similar to the standard English that is used in these scenarios.

It might be quite difficult to understand for non-native as well as native speakers who are not well trained or well versed and neither are familiar with different sorts of poetic expressions.

As a whole, the book can be regarded as a must-read for people willing to explore an orientalist worldview coming from a western writer who also happens to be a Christian from the overwhelmingly Muslim Middle East.

Although the book might seem a bit difficult to comprehend in the beginning, once someone completely dives deep, it will be very difficult not to like the book.

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