Book Review: The Broken Wings, by Kahlil Gibran

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Some writers only tread this earth like a passing wind, but leave their footprints buried deep in its core. These writers live words, survive on words, and upon their departure leave words with fragrance that pierce through time and space, words as beautiful as the statue of Aphrodite (goddess of love and beauty) sculptured by the lustful fingers of her loyal follower, and filled with the wild emotions swirling in his palpitating heart. Such was Kahlil Gibran, only that the beauty woven into the pages of his book, BROKEN WINGS, is not of Aphrodite, but of the one whose beauty could strip Aphrodite completely off her charms. Her name, Selma Karamy.

The beauty of Selma's face was not classic; it was like a dream of revelation which cannot be measured or bound or copied by the brush of a painter or the chisel of a sculptor. Selma's beauty was not in her golden hair, but in the virtue of purity which surrounded it; not in her large eyes, but in the light which emanated from them; not in her red lips, but in the sweetness of her words; not in her ivory neck, but in its slight bow to the front. Nor was it in her perfect figure, but in the nobility of her spirit, burning like a white torch between earth and sky. Her beauty was like a gift of poetry...

This book takes us through the personal experience of a young man Kahlil Gibran modelled after himself, and through his eyes we could see what glory love possessed when it came out (guided by the scents of roses, jasmine and gardenia) seeking two hearts, and the doom written on its face when these hearts became like nightingales with broken wings.

The story began in the eighteenth year of Kahlil’s existence, at a time when the gardens of the city of Beirut, Lebanon heeded the call of spring and thus bloomed with Nisan flowers. During this time providence took him to the house of Farris Effendi Karamy, a childhood friend of his father, where he met his daughter, Selma. There, love opened his eyes with its magical rays and breathe life into his dying soul. Her gaze freed him from the bondage of his youth and, like a butterfly attracted to a flower, he continued visiting Karamy's to revel in Selma's alluring beauty until the night Selma’s heart whispered back, and love was born in a garden and witnessed by the heavenly eyes of the night sky. 

...As the rays of the moon shone on the face, neck, and arms of Selma, she looked like a statue of ivory sculptured by the fingers of some worshiper of Ishtar, goddess of beauty and love. As she looked at me, she said, "Why are you silent? Why do you not tell me something about your past?" As I gazed at her, my muteness vanished, and I opened my lips and said, "Did you not hear what I said when we came to this orchard? The spirit that hears the whispering of flowers and the singing of silence can also hear the shrieking of my soul and the clamour of my heart."
She covered her face with her hands and said in a trembling voice, "Yes, I heard you −−I heard a voice coming from the bosom of night and a clamour raging in the heart of the day."

That same night her father came home with the sad news of her betrothal to the bishop’s nephew, an evil man named Mansur Galib. And like dew, darkness fell upon the household of Farris Effendi Karamy, and the two hearts that tasted of love's sweetness also tasted its bitterness. This, however, was not the end, but the beginning of an endless story of love and sorrow.

Broken wings is a poetic tale of unending love, beauty, loss, pain, religious corruption and greed. It draws its readers so deep into the world of Khalil that they feel his joy, pain and the weight of the shackles which imprisoned him forever in the heart of Selma.

For everyone with a heart, this book is a must read. I rate it 5 out of 5. You may give it your ratings in the comments section below.

Read about the author HERE

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