Khalil Gibran

The Prophet – On Children



Arabic literature

poetry in prose

Original English text




Short introduction

Gibran Khalil Gibran (January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931) was a Lebanese-American writer, poet, visual artist and Lebanese nationalist.

Khalil Gibran is the third-best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Laozi.

In the Arab world, Khalil Gibran is regarded as a literary and political rebel. His romantic style was at the heart of a renaissance in modern Arabic literature, especially prose poetry,
breaking away from the classical school. In Lebanon, Khalil Gibran is still celebrated as a literary hero.

Khalil Gibran is chiefly known in the English-speaking world for his 1923 book “The Prophet”,
an early example of inspirational fiction including a series of philosophical essays written in poetic English prose, that inspired, from the sixties, the “New Age”.

Below, the text of the prose poetry: “On Children”, extracted from the book “the Prophet” by Khalil Gibran, in the original English language.

Below below, you can find the video, audio-book, of Poetry by Khalil Gibran: “On Children” in English.

Good reading and good listening.




Khalil Gibran

The prophet – On Children


Arabic literature

Original English text




Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters

of Life’s longing for itself.


They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet

they belong not to you.



You may give them your love

but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.


You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.


You may strive to be like them,

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.



You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.


The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.


Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.



Khalil Gibran – On Children

from: The prophet

Arabic literature – poetry in prose

Original English text




Video Audiobook

“On Children” by Kahlil Gibran

read by James Earl Jones


Sharing culture!

You may also like...