On Children by Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) from
The Prophet, 1923
Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931) Lebanese poet
and artist. Gibran immigrated with his parents to Boston
in 1895 and later settled in New York City. His works,
written in both Arabic and English, are full of lyrical
outpourings and express his deeply religious and
mystical nature. The Prophet, a book of poetic essays,
achieved cult status among American youth for several
by Kahlil Gibran
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to
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
You are the bows from which your children as living
arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the
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
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
loves also the bow that is stable.