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The work of Khalil Gibran has been a wonderful discovery for me over the past year.  Despite being one of the most popular authors of all time, and the third best-selling poet in history (according to Wikipedia), I had not heard of him until partway through college.  Even then I did not read any of his writing.  That changed last year when I read The Prophet.  I was immediately hooked on Gibran.  I read three other Gibran works in 2011, and chose another for my second book of 2012.

Sand and Foam is a difficult book to classify.  It is part poetry, part philosophy, part parable, and entirely genius.  Gibran manages to put simple truths into words that are both beautiful and profound.  Consider this line:

“I am ignorant of absolute truth. But I am humble before my ignorance and therein lies my honor and my reward.”

That level of self awareness and honesty is remarkable in any man.  Gibran’s influence over the past century has been much greater than many people realize.  As this New Yorker article points out, his quotes pop up everywhere.  A prime example: the opening line of The Beatles’ song “Julia” is a paraphrase of a line from Gibran’s Sand and Foam.  When The Beatles use you as a lyrical inspiration, you’ve done pretty darn well.

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