Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: The Broken Wings (Kahlil Gibran)


Title: The Broken Wings (الأجنحة المتكسرة)
Author: Kahlil Gibran (Editor: Will Jonson) Pages: 44
Genre: Fiction / Classic / Poetry / Novella / Tragedy
First published: 1912
Edition: Paperback, independently published in 2014

With great sensitivity, Gibran describes his passion as a youth for Selma Karamy, the girl of Beirut who first unfolded to him the secrets of love. But it is a love that is doomed by a social convention which forces Selma into marriage with another man. Portraying the happiness and infinite sorrow of his relationship with Selma, Gibran at the same time probes the spiritual meaning of human existence with profound compassion.

Apparently it only takes 44 pages to break my heart. Oh, my word. This was the most beautiful and tragic story I have read for a long, long time.

There is so much love contained within these pages and the writing is so exquisite, it filled my heart with emotions and then proceeded to shatter it into a thousand pieces.

Written at the beginning of the twentieth century it nevertheless has a lot of modern sensibilities and the author’s views on how society treated (and unfortunately still treats) women. I feel that between his beautiful lines of prose this was very much a social commentary on the lack of choice women experienced, as well an ode to the strength as well as helplessness of love and the human spirit.

This poetic novella touched me deeply. I am not ashamed to say I cried my eyes out. Beautifully sad.

I have a longer work by this author on my shelf, but I do not think my heart can handle it just yet.

7 out of 7 stars


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