Kahlil Gibran is best known as a poet and the author of The Prophet, but he was also an accomplished visual artist. Most of his work is now in the Gibran National Committee’s Museum in his home town of Bsharreh, Lebanon. However the following seven drawings reside in Harvard’s Houghton Library, a legacy of his brief but formative time in Boston. Gibran drew these between the ages of 19 and 21 and gifted them to Josephine Preston Peabody, his close friend and poetic mentor who called him “my young prophet” and likely had a major influence on his most famous book.
The drawings were given to the library by Peabody’s later husband, Lionel Simeon Marks, who was a Harvard professor. One contains an Arabic inscription by Gibran which was translated by Harvard Professor William Thomson as follows:
“Give heed, o soul, for Love calls to thee, so listen:
Open the doors of thy heart and receive Love and the King.”