Khalil Gibran

A Lebanese Poet

Life of Khalil

Khalil Gibran’s Early Day

  • Khalil Gibran was born on January 6th, 1883 in Lebanon.

  • His father worked for an Ottoman officer.

    • This allowed Gibran to have priests visit him privately to teach him about the Bible and the Arabic and Syriac languages. He had no formal education in a school(in Lebanon), though.

  • Gibran and his family emigrated to the United States.

    • They lived in Boston at first.

Where It All Started

Khalil Gibran’s Teen Life

  • Gibran started his writing career in the United States.

    • His works are deep in religion and emotion.

      • Christianity, Islam, Sufism, and Hinduism

  • He studied art along with the English language.

    • He luckily got to be supervised by a Boston artist, Fred Holland Day.

  • Gibran’s mother didn’t want the west to influence him that much, so she sent him back to Lebanon.

    • When he returned to Boston in 1902 (age 19) his brother Peter, his sister Sultana, and mother Kamila all died, leaving just him and his other sister, Marianna.

A Legacy Comes to an End

Gibran’s Later Life

  • Gibran met Mary Elizabeth Haskell, who introduced him to many different artists, teachers, and resources in Paris.

  • He started writing in English when he was 35 years of age.

    • His first English work was The Madman.

  • Became apart of the New York Pen League

    • Also known as the “Immigrant Poets”.

  • Gibran is mostly known for his book, The Prophet.

    • It is made up of 26 poetic essays.

    • It became popular in the 20th century and is now translated into 40 different languages.

  • Moved to New York and died April 10th, 1931.

    • He wanted to be buried in Lebanon, and he was.


  • Emigration to the United States
  • Fred Holland Day

  • Lebanon Priests

  • Scenic views of Bsharri

  • Religion

  • Father’s political standing

    • Wanted nothing to do with Politics

  • Mary Elizabeth Haskell

  • Poets in the New York Pen League

A Tear and A Smile (دمعة وابتسامة)

  • Poem: Life experiences
  • No speaker identified
  • Diction shows education (high class)

  • Larger Occasion (life)
  • Emotions: Optimism and Pessimism
  • Audience is everyone

  • Mood: Positive and Assuring
  • Repetition: "A tear and a smile", "heart", "joy", "life"
  • Multiple contradictions show the equilibrium of life

  • Theme: Everyone should experience the good and the bad
  • Subject is not completely direct
  • Tone: Liberating

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Self Knowledge

  • Poem: Live your life; Find your true self
  • Speaker: Almustafa
  • Audience: Townspeople or those who lack in self-knowledge

  • Emotional State: Pondering and Absorbed in thought
  • Immediate Occasion
  • Description on self-knowledge

  • Theme: Find your true self / Follow the path you want to go down
  • Conveys message through comparisons
  • Mood: Motivational

  • Direct subject
  • Single-subject, the poem is very focused
  • Tone: Enlightening


  • Poem: Friendship is good for the soul
  • Speaker: Almustafa
  • Audience: Townspeople or those who lack understanding of friendship

  • Immediate Occasion (Friendship)
  • Description on how a friendship should be: 50/50 effort
  • Mood: Uplifting, Fortunate or even guilty

  • Theme: Friendship is a gift and you should use it right, don't use them
  • Conveys message through abstract words and formal writing
  • Direct subject

  • Tone: Enlightening and instructive
  • Single-Subject
  • Very direct and focused


  • Poem: Beauty
  • Speaker: Almustafa
  • Audience: Townspeople or those who lack confidence in their image

  • Immediate Occasion
  • Description of how people think beauty is the opposite of themselves
  • Portrayed through contradicting thoughts and rhetoric questions

  • Mood: Confident and bubbly
  • Theme: Everything has beauty to it, and even if you can't see it, others can.
  • Direct, single and immediate subject

  • The speaker/author seems delighted to write about the wonders of beauty
  • Influence of writing Beauty: Mary Haskell
  • Tone: Dreamy and elated

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Writing Style

  • In the Prophet, the poems start with, "And a ___ said, 'Speak to us of___'"
  • Variety of sentences: Simple, Complex, Periodic, Compound, Compound Complex, Balanced/Paralleled
  • Enlightening tone

  • Imagery
  • Repetition
  • Rhetorical Questions

  • Religion
  • The Prophet: 2nd Person
  • Comparisons/Contradictions

  • No rhyming
  • Personification