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Kahlil Gibran was born in 1883 in Lebanon and died in New York in 1931. His family emigrated to the United States in 1895. In his early teens, the artistry of Gibran's drawings caught the eye of his teachers and he was introduced to the avant-garde Boston artist, photographer, and publisher Fred Holland Day, who encouraged and supported Gibran in his creative endeavors. A publisher used some of Gibran's drawings for book covers in 1898, and Gibran held his first art exhibition in 1904 in Boston. In 1908, Gibran went to study art with Auguste Rodin in Paris for two years. He later studied art in Boston. While most of Gibran's early writing was in Arabic, most of his work published after 1918 was in English. Gibran's best-known work is The Prophet, a book composed of 26 poetic essays.
"[Kahlil Gibran] speaks about fundamental things--those which are, or should be, a part of every human life--love, giving, food and drink, work, sorrow and joy, children, clothes and housing, buying and selling, crime and punishment, freedom, reason and passion, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion and death . . . Like most wisdom, most of what he has to tell is ancient, the possession of all men who have thought much and hard about fundamental things . . . But on it all there is also the imprint of a rich and unusual personality . . . Gibran offers no short-cuts to happiness, no easily mastered formulae for successful living. Essentially, he bids you look closely into your own heart and mind." --NEW YORK TIMES