Poetry Wednesday: The Bottom Line For Every Parent by Kahlil Gibran

This is a  poem by Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931)  who was born in Lebanon, was the grandson of a priest and raised in poverty. His mother brought him at age 12 and his siblings to Boston’s South End at the time the second-largest Syrian-Lebanese-American community in the United States. His mother began working as a seamstress peddler, selling lace and linens that she carried from door to door. He went to the Josiah Quincy school,  back to Lebanon for three years, traveled the world eventually settling in the United States but always firmly attached to his homeland.

I was given this poem from his book The Prophet called “On Children” when my first child was born. It is something every parent should receive with the birth of their first child.

On Children

Kahlil Gibran 

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
     And he said:
     Your children are not your children.
     They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
     They come through you but not from you,
     And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

     You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
     For they have their own thoughts.
     You may house their bodies but not their souls,
     For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
     You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
     For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
     You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
     The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
     Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
     For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

4 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesday: The Bottom Line For Every Parent by Kahlil Gibran

  1. Matt

    I have discussed the work of Child Protection activist
    Andrew Vachss in previous posts.
    His work has detailed the relationship between child
    abuse and subsequent criminal behaviour in children.


    Several years ago I created the thread

    “ It is harder to get a drivers license than to have a baby “



    Dad googled ‘How do you know if a baby is dead’ after raping 10-month-old in Pennsylvania, authorities say

    OCT 08, 2020 AT 10:26 AM

    You do know what to do?


  2. Matt

    Someday , down the road, you might live your life
    into the answers ….until then understand the Sufis
    predate the Muslim religion by thousands of years
    and were sometimes known as Seekers of Truth.
    Gurdjieff wrote about his search for them in his
    book Meetings With Remarkable Men.
    Khalil Gibran was the first Sufi I met, through his writings.


    Rumi came later.

    In other news

    I spoke with Ed Tatro today.


    Who REALLY Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?: The Case Against Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover Hardcover – May 1, 2018
    by Phillip F. Nelson (Author)

    This book, together with the three previous efforts, represents a major part of my life over the last decade and a half, from the point at which I decided to write what I felt was a more accurate, brutally honest, and politically incorrect account of Lyndon Johnson’s ascension to the presidency — and the reign of terror that followed. For many years, as I worked in the corporate world, I longed for someone more talented and articulate than me to write the “real” history of the turbulent 1960s and of President Johnson’s historical imprint, “bark and all” as he used to (paradoxically) say. For a time–after Robert Caro’s first two books were published–I thought that he would fill that void. Unfortunately, his last two books effectively changed my perspective on that point.

    My decision to begin my own research began at a very specific time: in late November, 2003, when I saw the broadcast of Episode No 9 of the History Channel’s “The Men Who Killed Kennedy,” titled “The Guilty Men.” Before long, it became clear that many people were more than just a little upset about how that show shined a spotlight on the 36th POTUS as had never been done before. It was quickly shut down and the History Channel forced to agree never to broadcast it again — not just Episode 9, but the other two new episodes (7 and 8) as well. That action came as the remaining sycophants from Johnson’s reign (led by Bill Moyers, Jack Valenti, Lady Bird Johnson), joined by Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter, took action akin to the book-burning rituals and Salem witch trials used as the ultimate remedies by authorities in bygone ages. Fortunately, all three of the videos noted (and the previous six) are still available for purchase or free viewing on various internet sites.

    It was the voice of Edgar F. Tatro that captured my attention the most in that video, and I have him to thank for being my inspiration in completing the previous books, and this one, which will be my final attempt to “rewrite history” in a way that I believe will eventually be proven to be one of the truest to the actual actions taken by people in real-time during the decade beginning at the point Lyndon B. Johnson forced his way onto the Democratic ticket as John F. Kennedy’s running mate, July 15, 1960 and ending when he left after his one (and a quarter) term as president, on January 20, 1969.

    G.I. Gurdjieff – movements in the monastery

  3. Very nice poem. Reminded me of Hesse’s Siddhartha where the child went off on his own to explore the world leaving his father behind. Yet was surprised when his son left to do the same thing.

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