I read this novel, The Broken Wings by artist and author, Kahlil Gibran (1912) this Saturday morning, a brief and very flowing read, the book found by me the day of my Art Show Reception, at the local library beforehand, unexpectedly, as I was looking for a couple of books to pick one to start reading silently, to rest before the event.
I didn’t start this book until today. I could understand it deeply, and from my own perspective on the other side of sorrow, within a true, reciprocal soul-centered, sensual joy of feminine love from heaven that began like a dream I didn’t know I’d known.
This prose poetry is at its finest and it is translated from the original Arabic very skillfully. From a more conservative background like May Ziadeh at an earlier time in my life, I would have too been solely focused in the literature of the immorality that the man and woman are meeting in secret and not look any further to consider the literary purpose behind the writing. And what I have learned from May’s reply and other writings is how she’d comment on what stood out to her at first, and not every literary critic need point out the main point. I have learned so much from her. The immorality aspect she brings up right away is excellent in the question she poses and what May goes on to describe as how it could affect the marriage are all points that are like trails themselves leading out into inspiration for a new poem or story. I have noted this idea myself. I’d love to reflect on her thought through some fiction or poetry; there is plenty to that, these types of topics that have many sides to them.
And the point she makes of a woman’s sorrow real yet herself choosing to do what’s right and be held by God as if by loose strands or cords of the finest silk is an earlier thought I’d had of my own not articulated so eloquently as she has; all of this is very illuminating and inspiring.
And so real life aside I find Gibran’s ‘writing purpose’ was as a supporter of feminism like May Ziadeh’s women’s cause, he was really shedding unveiling light on the reality of the grim and completely unjust way these women were sent away against their hearts. I feel he showed what was wrong very real and very well.
Like his friend and friend of May’s, author Ameen Rihani who used the term “blush of dawn” in the opposite meaning of a shallow, quick and disappearing love, Gibran uses the imagery of a “red dawn” too, in Gibran’s, it is on the face of the character Selma. This again is another reference to my blog name I’d come up with as a writer years before reading these books—with a secret painter’s desire—as a girl who was really just craving a beautiful shade of the color pink for my writing Blog.
I was also so surprised by the single word “Sincerity” so paramount in this short novel. I recently wrote a flash fiction prose poem that was titled “Sincerity” before I read this book, and the characters I imagined were Middle Eastern or Middle Eastern American / Asian American, whichever term, same idea.
This is a great book taking a great look at Sorrow. It is funny how that female love in a way like a woman’s sensuality had me “reborn” and out of the shadow of Sorrow. It is incredible to think of my own experience this way as the happy part of this very real book that feels with me, like the commingling scents of jasmine and gardenia the book describes.
Readers may also be interested in reading Gibran’s The Broken Wings along with May Ziadeh’s “Beloved: Memories of Lebanon” short story, searchable blog. I translated her story from French on this blog; the main character’s name is Lamia (pub. 1928).
This real life book embraces the main character’s depth of grief and beginning, in a way, from there. This novel I’d found as part of a Treasury Book, and I find a few letters to May in it that I would like to read now, but the other works another time. I am reading the letters :D, I can see Kahlil was partly intimidated by her and seems to be looking for a chaste platonic woman friend for support. He describes her writing letters back to him like “after the night, hope for me, as the dawn smiling.”
I also read the letter from May, early in her life in 1912; which was clearly her response to this book by Gibran with what I’d found from research states above, but doesn’t include the book’s title in the letter, as a surprise find for me hours after I finished the book.
As for sense of personality, May would have seen life from a fuller angle as her life continued, as I myself do now, while retaining that initial consideration and desire for good.
by Jade Nicole Beals—😂I don’t know why my name is here, but it’s a great typo as yes, I did just write my own opinion on May to include this by line…
I like that May must’ve asked what he was wearing or how he dressed as one of her questions in the letter, along with maybe what he would be doing on that day, and he’s replying to the letter, to which he says, “A long and wide garment spotted with different colors of ink” and, What his office looks like? He replies, “No ceilings or walls yet but I am working on it.” Gibran seems to be talking to her as a spiritual friend, as he returns from the reality of a room, to himself “sailing a ship” (of himself), and implying a friend like May could help him with the mast, and his sails of his spiritual life. Anyway, that’s fine with me:D the relationship. I mean either way whatever has brought and continues in greatest happiness.
Gibran’s writing intention in the book also seems to be beauty, to share it, and to show that beauty is not just physical, or changing, or somehow shallow, which I can personally relate to, as I’d asked myself my own driving desire to paint: to share beauty, as Gibran expresses partly within the activity and characters of this novel.
I find this book is prose poetry more so than a traditional novel and that can influence the enjoyment of it. As a novel very good but better understood as poetry.