Poetry Analysis: Part 5 of 5

“On Children” by Khalil Gibran
Read the poem here

An excerpt from “The Prophet,” this piece by Khalil Gibran is a profound work of art. It speaks as a prophet to a parent, presumably a mother. The piece begins with one bold line, ‘Your children are not your children.’ The speaker explains what children are and what they are not by making striking comparisons to show the difference. For example, in the second stanza he says, ‘You may give them your love but not your thoughts / For they have their own thoughts.’ It seems the author aims to defend children and their individuality. In the final stanza, he uses the metaphors of children as arrows and parents as the bows. ‘You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth,’ clearly shows us the argument that is being made. Children will always come from their parents and remain a sacred part of them, but they are not owned by them nor required to be just like them as they go forward in life.


Image courtesy of Quote Mirror


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