On Joy and Sorrow, Poetry by Kahlil Gibran about Grief

In the classic poem, On Joy and Sorry by Kahil Gibran Poetry he shares his profound understanding of death. You weep for that which has been your delight (+).

On Joy and Sorrow, Poetry by Kahlil Gibran about Grief

Once you understand what grief is, you can step forward and balance your perceptions to do the deeper more meaningful work to get to a state of unconditional love (+/-), where there is no condition (+) of positivity or happiness placed on it. But a true unconditional state to appreciate all sides of an individual and the essence of their whole being (+/-). Not just the admired perspective. Trying to hold onto only positive memories is loving someone for half of who they are. To bring a state of poise, presence, gratitude and unconditional love is to love them for who they truly are. Individuals who had all traits, both positive and negative. Holding onto the joy only will bring brain noise, depression and anxiety as the mind and body seek homeostasis.

Enjoy the poem and a broader perspective and understanding of death and transformation:

Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.

And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Kahlil Gibran 1883 –1931

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on February 10, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.

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