Treasure Island

Khalil Gibran

(January 6, 1883 – April 10, 1931 / Bsharri)

A Tear And A Smile


I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
For the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
To flow from my every part turn into laughter.

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
Of life's secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live Weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are
Satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening's coming the flower folds her petals
And sleeps, embracingher longing.
At morning's approach she opens her lips to meet
The sun's kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
Together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
The greater spirit to move in the world of matter
And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
And return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty----to God.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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  • Philip John Wang'ondu (5/3/2014 3:57:00 PM)

    I'm not a poet nor an expert in poetry if there is something like that; I just appreciate and value good writing. A Smile And A Tear is a beautiful piece of art and I every time I read it I see or understand something that I missed before. I'm going to cherish this one, thank you Khalil! (Report) Reply

  • Fiona Schwartzinoff (1/21/2014 9:04:00 PM)

    This is so beautiful! I simply love Khalil! his words must be preserved till the end of the world as a peaceful voice in the midst of havoc! (Report) Reply

  • Salma Laskar (5/10/2013 5:50:00 AM)

    I understand A Tear And A Smile as-
    Joy and Sorrow to be treasured as they are special and exclusive to us.
    My sorrow no match to some one else's as it is mine.
    My joy no match to someone else's as it is mine
    I love my sorrow as I cherish my joy as both are mine.
    As life is mine and death is mine (Report) Reply

  • Salma Laskar (5/10/2013 5:40:00 AM)

    I understand A Tear And A Smile as -
    Joy and Sorrow to be treasured as they are special and exclusive to us.
    My sorrow no match to some one else's as it is mine.
    My joy no match to someone else's as it is mine
    I love my sorrow as I cherish my joy as both are mine.
    As life is mine and death is mine (Report) Reply

  • Nikki Kalonski (1/9/2013 7:40:00 PM)

    Brilliance as he reveals the needs and discoveries of life and as he unravels the importance of balance inevitable within, hence the use of a tear and a smile. A tear to purify my love and a smile to portray a blessing in that we are capable to take part of the existence of the poem as well as the genius within it. May God have mercy on your soul Khalil Gibran. Though your spirit is refreshing and invigorating as it speaks through your poems. (Report) Reply

  • Kezang Dawa (10/17/2012 4:08:00 AM)

    Khalil Gibran...you are one of a inspiring poet in this world who describe about love and life sad and sorrow bring together in your poem... (Report) Reply

  • Kezang Dawa (10/17/2012 4:06:00 AM)

    You are the inspiring poet in the world who describe the love and life sad and sorrow......beautiful poem.... (Report) Reply

  • John Lawrence (9/12/2012 1:20:00 PM)

    Just beautiful, it sums up my feelings of life and the longing to understand more as I go through the journey of the fullness of life. (Report) Reply

  • Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (8/18/2012 2:46:00 AM)

    I just love this poet, one who embraces in his poems the great and beautiful values in religions, the one who speaks from his heart and mind of wisdom (Report) Reply

  • Lehlohonolo Shuping (4/7/2012 3:44:00 AM)

    Khalil is perfection personified. Words are said to give and take life but he puts a breath of eternity into the word's nostrils. For generations to come, his words will give life to humanity's offsprings. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Genovana (5/12/2011 10:45:00 AM)

    Kahlil Gibran
    I shall not praise you nor despise you.
    For thoughts should be swifter than the tongue
    I have jfk rain run the valley of my being, that it may run deeper,
    That it may rush happily to the sea
    And the trench of my ears shall be a deep well
    I have listened to the echo of the waters
    When the sky has been watching and rejoicing,
    In the hidden lands of my heart (Report) Reply

Read all 17 comments »

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