People are nothing but lines

I quoted some verses of Khalil Gibran in my previous post… however, I could not resist the urge to write a dedicated post about this poem, especially when Fairuz, the neighbor of the moon, herself sang it.


Give me the Flute

Give me the flute, and sing
immortality lies in a song
and even after we’ve perished
the flute continues to lament
have you taken refuge in the woods
away from places like me
followed streams on their courses
and climbed up the rocks.
Did you ever bathe in a perfume
and dry yourself with a light
drink the dawn as wine
rarefied in goblets of ether
give me the flute then and sing
the best of prayer is song
and even when life perishes
the flute continues to lament
have you spent an evening
as I have done
among vines
where the golden candelabra
clusters hang down
did you sleep on the grass at night
and let space be your blanket
abstaining from all that will come
forgetful of all that has passed
give the flute then and sing
in singing is Justice for the heart
and even after every guilt
has perished
the flute continues to lament
give the flute and sing
forget illness and its cure
people are nothing but lines
which are scribbled on water.

Gibran Khalil Gibran

اعطني الناي وغني

عطني الناي وغني
فالغنا سر الوجود
وأنين الناي يبقى
بعد أن يفنى الوجود
هل إتخذت الغاب مثلي
منـزلاً دون القصور
فتتبعت السواقي
وتسلقت الصخور
هل تحممت بعطره
وتنشفت بنور
وشربت الفجر خمراً
من كؤوس من أثير
هل جلست العصر مثلي
بين جفنات العنب
والعناقيد تدلت
كثريات الذهب
هل فرشت العشب ليلاً
وتلحفت الفضاء
زاهداً في ما سيأتي
ناسياً ما قد مضى
أعطني الناي وغني
وانسى داء ودواء
إنما الناس سطورٌ
كتبت لكن بماء





جبران خليل جبران



2 thoughts on “People are nothing but lines

  1. Are people really “nothing but lines”? I think when a person enters another person’s life (in different weights) will remain there for both persons, and will not disappear or diminish in any way or over time. Since lines are dead objects and humans are with body and soul; in my opinion, the analogy attempted in the poem is only on form but not on the substance.

  2. the correct tranlsation is

    “poeple are lines ( as in poetry or prose or all the most high and noble and weighted notions) but in water”

    the point is the the ephemeral nature of our lives in relation to the scale of the cosmos and the macrocosm. It is an exemplary sample of Gibran’s timeless vision into the eternal that ultimately shows the triviality of our selves in relation to the greater time schemes and is opposed to our modern, self centered notion of individual importance.

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