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Haddayr Copley-Woods [userpic]

For Heather and Tim

November 8th, 2007 (08:01 pm)

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

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 our 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.

Comments

Posted by: Skylarker (skylarker)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 02:29 am (UTC)

I know the first part of that as a song by 'Sweet Honey in the Rock' (one of y favorites!) I didn't realize its origin. Thanks. :)

Posted by: Haddayr Copley-Woods (haddayr)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 02:31 am (UTC)

One of my favorite songs, too, and I hadn't known it was a Prophet poem.

It's interesting that they left the last stanza off. Reading it now, as a parent of about five and a half years now, I was moved to tears by it.

Posted by: Skylarker (skylarker)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 02:33 am (UTC)

The last stanza is a good thought, but I can see how it doesn't fit the song version.

I was moved by the song more from the perspective of a child who wished her parents had heard it.

Posted by: Jam (jamiam)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 03:46 am (UTC)
danaus plexiglas var. monkeywitz

Heh! Only another parent can get away with telling a new parent that.

Posted by: shadow and mirror (mollya)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)

There was a fad at our synagogue a few years ago and the Sweet Honey in the Rock song was sung at every other Bar Mitzvah. I cried every time. I haven't heard it in a long while and reading this made me tear up again. Thank you.

Posted by: Marguerite Croft (albionidaho)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 05:15 am (UTC)

That's just lovely. Thank you for sharing that.

Posted by: Nicholas (nwhyte)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 06:21 am (UTC)
child

It's so true...

Posted by: R. Francis Smith (rfrancis)
Posted at: November 9th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)

I like. One of the things we were talking about the other day is how unlike us Niki is in how she thinks about things, and how the best we can (and must) do is to try to help her live a life where she can think her thoughts her way. (Despite, to be honest, a society that will push back against that every chance it gets.)

Posted by: Michael Jasper (michaeljasper)
Posted at: November 13th, 2007 10:00 am (UTC)

"For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams."

Lovely. I waited until today to read this poem. Thanks!!!

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