Khalil Gibran’s book The Prophet is one of the best selling books of all time and was written while Gibran lived in the Village. Gibran may be known as the national poet of Lebanon, but he lived the final 20 years of his life here, at 51 West 10th Street in New York City, among other places. He died at St. Vincent’s Hospital on April 10, 1931. His birthday is January 6.
Although there are several memorials to Gibran in places all around the world, I’m not aware of any in Greenwich Village. If you know of one, please let me know.
His work found its way into pop music. John Lennon borrowed this line, slightly altered, from "Sand and Foam" (1926) for his song “Julia”:
Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you.
Also from "Sand and Foam":
Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.
And from The Prophet:
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy; to return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.