Updated: 7 Sep 2020
'The Prophet', by Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931) is a book composed of twenty-six poetic essays. Continually in print since its publication in 1923, its ongoing popularity is a continuation of the interest generated by the American counterculture of the 1960s and the New Age movement. His language has a breath-taking beauty. Before returning to his birthplace, Almustafa, the 'prophet', is asked for guidance by the people of Orphalese. His words, redolent with love and understanding, call for universal unity, and affirm Gibran's certainty of the correlated nature of all existence, and of reincarnation. 'The Prophet' has never lost its immediate appeal and has become a ubiquitous touchstone of spiritual literature. AUTHOR: Born in the town of Bsharri in the north of modern-day Lebanon (then part of Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, Ottoman Empire), as a young man he 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.