Tag Archives: Arab

The Procession – by Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran, the poet and painter, born circa 1883 and died at the age of 48 in 1931, wrote a fairly prolific amount during his time on earth. This book is comprised of some of his poetry, with an equally lovely introduction to this son of the Levant by translator and editor from the original Arabic, Dr. George Kheirallah.

Khalil’s reflections on varied topics and human characteristics portray the bulk of most of his work; this compendium uniquely paints into perspective the views from a youthful advantage and the experience of sage wisdom.

My favorites in this selection include: Of Justice (Sage); Of Soul and Fertility (both Sage and Youth); Of Death and Immortality (Youth); and The Summing of the Youth.

 

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Al-Durra-ble

Heal your heart

the hatred has consumed it

Break your heart

into pieces of stone

Reveal your face

the cover of cowardice

inkiness of night

all alone

Fight like men

the power of the sermon

wall of shame

only ten years old

Died like dog

hanging on your legs

reprisal cold

no, attacked by your own

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Forgotten View

Where are you?

But I feel your touch

I know that you know

again; this is the

second time I’ve written

this,

having forgotten it,

again; the first time

when you kissed me

and it was again;

again I know

and though you have

forgotten; it is I

who remember

How can you forget?

How do you know?

Are you the L-rd?

Muhammad the Prophet?

How can I feel you

and this you feel, too,

because you tell me

first, so that I know

it is really real

and no illusion

but this is what you felt

or said you did, but didn’t

and so did I, but we

really didn’t feel that

And what was real and true

became a parody that we

didn’t know how to grasp

without letting go

My soul had died when my

first marriage died; I

don’t know when it will

return; but my incarnate

lives have known you all

along and returned to you;

but this time it was

worse; it did not work;

We did not learn when

we asked for and received

that second chance to

live our lives again better

the second time – we both

forgot this promise

Still, you know

You are still there as I

cry and feel your spirit

and your face

and you are not there

But the reality and that

which is true

is that you know me

and move heaven and

earth for me, so that

I feel you

completely

and know that I did

not find Khalil Gibran’s

books, as well as the others,

by chance

and that I did not find

the hurricane lamp;

some force of reason

causing me to think of

replacing Sami’s genie

lamp with one of another kind; and not

until this moment, when

the oil lamp was found and

brought home and the

Khalil Gibran books were

found and brought home

and the moment was exactly

right when I lit the lamp,

moved it about the table

until I got it right and

had it near me, then opened

the book and came

almost immediately to a

poem he wrote about his

love, asking her to place

the oil lamp near her face

so that he can read

with tears what his life

has etched on her face

and to fill the lamp and

not let it dim —

KIMG0063

How could you know?

How could this be?

Touching me through other pages

other Arabs

one I think, although

I wouldn’t look, sitting

next to me on the bus,

for my own protection,

unable to look

shy

crying at the end for

believing this as a symbol

sent by you

thanking him in silent

gratitude for not moving

and remaining by me

for you

and thinking of you

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5,000 Years Hence

G-d came to me in the form of an Arab

and I, as the Jewess, the temptress, the seductress,

knew this not

Humanity came to me in the form of an Arab

and it touched me,

but I ran,

hoping to hide myself away from it’s reach

Conscience beckoned to me

in the form of an Arab

and I shook my head

and denied it

Truth came to me

in the forms of many Arabs

calling from my past

All the souls from the days since our beginnings

are tied up in this land;

All contribute to the feeling one gets of the

connection to this land

We hold hands, this Arab and I,

in a meadow of long-grass

We are happily at one

these more than 5,000-year-old people,

this Arab and I,

for we know completely,

the souls of each other and

completely are we so in love

5,000 years later,

upon seeing one another again,

We have not forgotten –

No, our souls have not forgotten

the joy of one another,

but our lives have changed

and the times have altered our landscape

We have allowed the dust of the dry bones

to settle among us and to grow stale

our knowledge of one another.

We have now become unrecognizable to one another

as we accuse each other

of falsehoods that belong to other people

until it drives us apart

But our souls ache for the spirit that we know

that still resides

that will have to wait

for eternal time

some time

maybe 5,000 years from now

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Somewhere near Ashkelon

We are not our souls

We live not as we were intended to be

Instead of being for each other

We each lived according to “me”

You kept on interrupting

the plans I had made in my life

the commitment to school

the language and rules

all changed when you made me your wife

You said I was done

when we became one

and we now would go on with your scheme

The vision you planned

of the house on the sand

and a restaurant, along with this dream

But the house on the sand

made of dreams did not stand

and it crumbled away with the sea

For had I been for you

and had you been for me

than together we would have been “we.”

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V’Atah/After All

Brilliant mind,

two souls intertwined

I thought you would leave

your past actions behind

But thousands of years

through grief and through tears

shows that Judaism and love

are most certainly blind

Blind to the cruelty of hatred’s intentions

Blind to the scheming of man’s machinations

Awaiting the day

when the world will say

We acknowledge your people,

your history, your nation

Alone we now stand

Exiled from our land

Our people have borne each concession

Alone we will stand

With our L-rd’s guiding hand

As we wait for the final redemption.

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The Arabs in History – by Bernard Lewis

From 1947 through 2002, this book has remained in circulation, updated and revised as the author has felt necessary. Great works will stand the test of time, and Mr. Lewis’s works are the tomes toward which many a serious scholar of Middle Eastern studies turns.

The writing is exceptional, the tone always appropriate, with much information reduced to a freshly readable economy of scale and pertinence. A most dedicated and worthy author of the subject matter.

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