The Madman: His Parables and Poems Paperback – 28 Mar 2003
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About the Author
The Lebanese-American artist, poet, and author Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) combined beauty and spirituality in philosophy. His best-known work, The Prophet, achieved a lasting popularity in the 1960s as countercultural guide, and his writings remain a staple of wedding and graduation rituals.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
You ask me how I became a madman. It happened
thus: One day, long before many gods
were born, I woke from a deep sleep and found
all my masks were stolen, the seven masks I have fashioned
and worn in seven lives. I ran maskless through
the crowded streets shouting:
"Thieves, thieves, the cursed thieves."
Men and women laughed at me and some ran to their
houses in fear of me.
And when I reached the marketplace, a youth standing
on a housetop cried, "He is a madman." I looked up
to behold him; the sun kissed my own naked face for the
first time. For the first time the sun kissed my own naked
face and my soul was inflamed with love for the sun,
and I wanted my masks no more. And as if in a trance
I cried, "Blessed, blessed are the thieves who stole my
Thus I became a madman.
And I have found both freedom of loneliness and the
safety from being understood, for those who understand
us enslave something in us.
But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a thief
in a jail is safe from another thief. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is not the most well known of Gibran's books but my favourite. A book to keep in your bag, loo or by your bedside.
Very throught provoking, easy to read and profound.
The thrill I experienced then was revisited a second time with the same intensity. The wisdom the book portrays is timeless.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good copy which arrived within suggested time period.
A bit slow and slightly damaged, but that was probably the post.