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Gibran Khalil Gibran and William Blake: Poets of Peace and Redemption

posted Jan 13, 2014, 4:53 PM by Almohajer Aljadeed
Poetry and Art are twins. Both are the offspring of suffering and joy. There is evidence that Gibran was familular with the work of Blake. He (Gibran) was intorofuced to Blakes world in Boston. Gibran was called “the 20th century Blake” Both rebelled against church corruption, and their political views were queit simular. Both of them were artists as well as being poets. Gibran himself was a teacher amd a guide for his friends. He saw himself as a peace maker and a spiritual healer. 

Both Blake and Gibran took the position that the basic purpose of our xistence is to discover and record new truths about the human soul. Both of these men deifned poetry as “the inevitable word in the inevitable place. Both of these highly creative individuals believed that we are all involved in an inner journey Gibran considered himself as being involved on an inner quest. 

Neither Blaker or Gibran claimed to be a mystic or a savior. Both believed that it is the responce of all persons to save themselves. Man was origionally an “imaginative being. Blake argues that everything that could be created could be destroyed and that our fives senses were dindrances to imagintation. 

Like Coleridge and Emerson, Gibran projected his feelings and moods onto nature and made nature echo them again. He agreed with Blake as well as Coleridge that the world of imagintation was richer, permenant and more dazzling than the outside world of ature becasue Gibran that the outside is but a replica of the inside. 

It is not surprising that both of these creative individuals shared a great deal of their intellectual qualities for creative people generally have a great deal in common whether we are considering poetry or other models of expression. 

Another concept that Gibran did not share with Blake was that of reincarnation. Gibran believed that evolution of the self through reincarnation was the only way to the greater self. A concept that he read in whitman and Emersons the Over Sould. Neither if the Moselem Mystics nor Blake believed in reincarnation. 

Gibran owed more to the Bible and to Blake than to any other poet or philosepher. And Blakes influence on him was the most enduring. Inhis book “prophet” The life and times of Gibran. Waterfield totally ignored fundemental premise, consequestely making his study of Gibran incomplete and his lost of influences certainly lacking.

During a certain part of his career, Gibran feels under the 'Spell” of Nietzsche. This is a period of disillusiononment and frustration that ended with the Prophet. At that time the young Gibran was experiencing personal and social difficulties, and his country was yeilding under the heavy yoke of the ottoman empire. There was a conflict between his imagination and his will, and a fierce battle between his ego and society. 

Gibrans critisism of society and state, his rebeliion against th authority of the Prince and the priest should be traced back to Blakes writings. Gibran did not rebel against the church becasuse of Nietzsche nor did he concept of Christianity or of Jesus parallel that of the “antichrist” Hehad faith and love in Jesus. Neitzsche blamed Christianity for and the social insitituations for the “dehuminization: of the individual. 

Although Blake preceded Nietzsche by almost a century, he anticipated the revolt of the German phiosphepher without denouncing his faith in Jesus. Both blake and Gibraninsisted that to be outside the church does not involve being outside of the sphere of redemption. Neither of them was a church-goer. Gibran also stressed that “Jesus was the most powerful personality in History.” He also disagreed with Nietzsche's theory of Eternal Recurrence. 

We will now increase our understanding of these two historically significant men by examining information that tells us who they were and why they are, even worth considering. 

William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet. He was not well recognzed during his lifetime. However, he is now considered an important figure in the history of poetry. Much of his poetry was prophetic. He was considered “mad” by his contemporaries for his unusal opinons. Now critics point to his expresivness and creativity. He was also considered philosophical. He revered the Bible but was hostile to the Church of England. He was influenced by the ideas and ambitions of both the French and American revolutions. 

He had a close relationship by Thoman Paine, the American pamphleteer and revolutionary. The 19th century scholor, William Rossetti characterized him a “glorious luminary and a man not a forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classified with contemporaries, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors.”

Kahlil Gibran ( Full arabic name Gibran Khalil Gibran) 

Khalil Gibran was a lebanses literary and philosophical icon who lived from 1883-1931. He was born in the town of Bsharri in the north of modern day Lebanon. As a young man he immigrated to the United States, Where he studied art and began his literary career, writing in both english and arabic. 

He is considered to be a literary and political rebel. In lebanon he is still considered to be a literary hero. He is maily known for English speaking world for his book The Prophet. A work of phiosphepher essays written in poetic prose. It bcasme pipular book in spite of the cold reception by critics. It as especially appealing in the 1930's and to members of the 1960;s counterculture. Gibran is the third best selling poet of all time, beind Shakespeare and Laozi. A very small versatule man he wa salso a painter, theologian, and a visual artist. 


Gibran died in New York City n 1931 of cirrohsis of the liver and tuberculosis. Before his death he expressed the wish to be buried in Lebanon. Written next to Gibrans Grave are the words, a word i want to see written grave: i M ALIVE LIKE YOU, AND I AM STANDING BESIDE YOU. CLOSE YOUR EYES AND LOOK AROUND, YOU WILL SEE ME INFRONT OF YOU. 

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