This enduring classic was first published in 1923 and has been in print since. It has inspired many, despite being largely overlooked by the literary world of the West. The book contains chapters sharing wisdom about love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion and death. The grunge music era that emerged from Seattle has had a bit of a resurgence, with Nirvana being rediscovered recently. The best singer of that music genre was Layne Staley, the lead singer of Alice in Chains. Staley had a side project group called Mad Season – a supergroup formed in 1994 with members Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin and founder John Baker Saunders of The Walkabouts. Staley, inspired by Gibran, wrote River of Deceit, drawing from chapters including the one called Pain, which states, “Much of your pain is self-chosen.” This song is featured on Mad Season’s Above album. Gibran also tells us, “For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.” Staley’s light went out sadly at 34 on 5 April 2002.
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
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