KHALIL GIBRAN, Mystic Poet-Philosopher

I’m going to jump from JFK to Khalil Gibran. Bear with me.This coming Friday, November 22, is the 50th anniversary U.S. President John F. Kennedy‘s (JFK) assassination. The memory of that day is still vivid in the minds of those many of us who lived through it. Understandably there’s been a considerable mention in the press over the past week or so and Kennedy’s most oft-repeated quote is “Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can do for you.”

511U-rWH1GL._AA160_If you read a lot, you know JFK may have popularized the thought but he wasn’t the first to make the observation. The point was made as long ago as Cicero in the 1st Century and Juvenal in the 2nd Century. The American jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, said it. Even another American president, Warren Harding, said it. However the person who comes first to my mind is the Lebanese-American artist and poet-philospher, Gibran Khalil Gibran (1883-1931).  In 1925 Gibran published a book entitled The New Frontier.  In it he wrote:

“Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country?  If you are the first, then you are a parasite; if the second, then you are an oasis in a desert.”

When Gibran came to the United States he settled in Kennedy’s home town, Boston. Perhaps JFK or his speech writers were familiar with Gibran’s work.

19316605Here is an excerpt From The Prophet, probably Khalil Gibran’s most well-know book.

And a man said, Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.
And he answered saying:
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.

And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.

Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.”
Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.”
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

– Khalil Gibran

Photo credit for Washington, D. C. Memorial – Gyrofrog licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 1.0 License

 … and thus we begin another week …

BARDO NEWS: What Leibniz Never Learned; Paula’s “three minutes” of fame; Niamh’s new FB page; an opportunity for women poets … and more

Life happens – as you all know too well, I’m sure – and what little time I am able to spend online in this moment is largely dedicated to our collabrative blog, “Into the Bardo,” where lots of exciting things are happening. I’ll be back here within the next two weeks. Meanwhile, this reblog of “Bardo News” provides an overview of events, including some in which you might want to participate. Hope to see you there. Poem on … P.S.: It’s not for women only.

THE BeZINE

sllwomanreverseVia contributing poet and good friend to Bardo, Myra Schneider for Second Light Network of Women Poets: AN INVITATION TO WOMEN POETS TO SUBMIT TO A MAJOR NEW ANTHOLOGY FUNDED BY THE ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND and open to contributions from any women anywhere in the world …

The Second Light Network of Women Poets have recently received Arts Council funding to bring out an anthology of poetry by women poets. It will be calledWings of Glass. The book will focus on ambitious writing and be published next autumn 2014 and launched at the Second Light Festival in central London in late November. The editors are Penelope ShuttleMyra Schneider and Dilys Wood. Submissions will be accepted between 15th November and 15th January. Please see full details for submitting : www.secondlightlive.co.uk

51rk8frRwfL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Her Wings of Glass (the title a quotation from Sylvia Plath) is to be…

View original post 1,039 more words

These Poetry Cats Meow!

cartoon.14

If you haven’t met Simon’s Cat before, check him out HERE.

This post is sponsored by Gypsy (The Cat’s Meow)…

Gypsy, the Columbus Avenue Beat Poet Days

Dig the cool cat: from her Columbus Avenue Beat poet days She was a Howl. (So, okay, I know that’s corny.)

Simon’s Cat courtesy of Simon’s Cat; Gypsy courtesy of Karen Fayeth, ©  2013, All rights reserved

I found my way to Niamh’s blog and books via poet Reena Prisad (Butterflies of Time) when Reena reblogged a post from Niamh’s On the Plum Tree. Subsequently, Niamh visited me here and asked me to write something for her Wednesday poetry corner. I was happy to do it, especially since I have been anxious to write about Ruth Stone, an earthy poet whose work I have long admired. If you haven’t encourntered Ruth Stone yet, I hope you will enjoy meeting her today.

I’ve just finished reading Niamh’s The Coming of the Feminine Christ, which I enjoyed, and I’ve also recently asked Niamh to join us on Into the Bardo where she will share with us her wonderful sense of the numinous.

Niamh Clune

Introducing to the Plum Tree, Jamie Dedes. Jamie is a very intelligent writer and runs a poetry blogazine: Into The Bardo. I have been struck by Jamie’s clarity and thoughtfulness in all she writes and produces. I am sure she will become a hot favourite ontheplumtree as she shares her thoughts and fascinating  insights with us. Thank you Jamie for being this week’s guest.

By Jamie Dedes41QCPusU8DL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_

“We go on to poetry; we go on to life. And life is, I am sure, made of poetry. Poetry is not alien – poetry is . . . lurking round the corner. It may spring on us at any moment.”Jorge Luis Borges, This Craft of Verse

Poems clutter the landscape of my mind with bite-sized portions easily committed to memory, ready to be pulled out in a moment of need or want. I like to think of poetry as literary dim…

View original post 707 more words