I don't believe there is any one in this world who does not dream of love. Love fascinates. Love drives people crazy. Love is used as a trap for the unawary. Love sells. Love is in every pop song which describe its excitement, its joys, its ecstasy, its hopes, its sorrows, its losses, its despair, its worries and its memories. Love is on the lips of the pastor, the priest, the rabbi, the monk, the saints, the mystics, the therapist. Some say the world is created by love. Others say that the world is moved by love. Yet how many people know about what that word means. If there is any one in this world who may be more qualified than some of the others to talk about the different faces of love, then Khalil Gibran must be one of them. He was loved by a famous female poet Mary Haskell who became his patron and helped him in his career and to whom he proposed but was rejected. He also fell in love with a beautiful and impulsive French girl Emilie Michel for a short while in 1904 .He carried on a Platonic relationship with May Ziadah another Arab poet for almost the entirely of his short adult life by corresponding with her for more than 30 years and only occasionally meeting her.
Gibran's message to the world is: "let love, human and frail, command the coming day.". To him, love is a something uplifitng, holistic and spiritual. It is a "sacred mystery" that remains "forever wordless" and a path which may lead us to self-discovery and self-fulfilment. It is something rapturous and ecstatic but is inextricably bound to pain, suffering and sorrow. It is not a simple emotion and knows only how to obey its own laws. But let him speak for himself and let's hear what he has to say in one of his poems, "Song of Love XXIV"
Song of Love XXIV
I am the lover's eyes, and the spirit's
Wine, and the heart's nourishment.
I am a rose. My heart opens at dawn and
The virgin kisses me and places me
Upon her breast.
I am the house of true fortune, and the
Origin of pleasure, and the beginning
Of peace and tranquility. I am the gentle
Smile upon his lips of beauty. When youth
Overtakes me he forgets his toil, and his
Whole life becomes reality of sweet dreams.
I am the poet's elation,
And the artist's revelation,
And the musician's inspiration.
I am a sacred shrine in the heart of a
Child, adored by a merciful mother.
I appear to heart's cry; I shun a demand;
My fullness pursues the heart's desire;
It shuns the empty claim of the voice.
I appeared to Adam and Eve
And exile was his lot;
Yet I revealed myself to Solomon,and
He drew wisdom from my presence.
I smiled at Helena and she destroyed Tarwada;
Yet I crowned Cleopatra and peace dominated
The Valley of the Nile.
I am like the ages--building today
And destroying tomorrow;
I am like a god, who creates and ruins;
I am sweeter than a violet's sigh;
I am more violent than a raging tempest.
Gifts do not entice me;
Parting does not discourage me;
Poverty does not chase me;
Jealousy does not prove my awareness;
Madness does not evidence my presence.
Of seekers, I am Truth, beseeching Truth;
And your Truth in seeking and receiving
And protecting me shall determine my
If we may summarize his ideas of love in the poem, we may discover that:
1. Love is something entirely human and subjective. It depends on the eyes of the lover.
2. Love helps our spirit to mature.
3. Love is a source of pleasure.
4. Love is a source of peace and tranquility
5. Love helps us forget our pains and sufferings.
6. Love is the stuff of dreams.
7. Love makes the poet happy.
8. Love is an endless subject for discovery by the artist
9. Love inspires the musician
10. Love is what a child craves for and what the mother gives
11. Love must be be freely given in response to a cry for love and can never be demanded as a right
12. One loves not by empty words but by deeds
13. Love was the cause of the downfall of Adam
14. Love can be a source of wisdom
15. Love has acted in history to bring peace.
16. Love involves both creation and destruction: it destroys as well as builds and can be both tender and violent.
17. Love is untouched by poverty nor lured by wealth nor destroyed by separation.
18. Jealousy is not love.
19. People seek love as their Truth
20. Our behavior in seeking, receiving, protecting Love determines our destiny.