A writer of fiction, poetry, and essays, Kahil Gibran immigrated to the United States from Lebanon as a young man in the late nineteenth century. Based out of New York City, Gibran was a prolific writer in both English and Arabic. The book that made him famous in the English-speaking world was 1923’s The Prophet, in which “On Children” appears.
“On Children” exemplifies Gibran's common spiritual or mystical approaches to problems of human life and interaction. In the poem, a mother asks an unknown speaker – possibly a prophet, possibly an elder, but the identity is never revealed – to speak of children. Questions raised by the poem center on: What responsibility do we have for children? When teaching or raising children, what exactly are we trying to give them? How much influence or control do we have over younger generations?
*CCR cannot guarantee the accuracy or continued availability of this online text. Please notify us if you encounter any problems.
First published in Gibran's 1923 book, The Prophet
Reading - Short Enough to Read Aloud.