Blog, Literature

Broken Wings (Review)

Love has no depth; neither can it be measured by any instrument. It brings changes and has long lasting effect into one’s mind and soul. It also brings forth the elapsed memories one never wants to let them pass into the bitterness of its mystery. Such is depicted in the Gibran’s book ‘Broken Wings’. The book is written in the first person and felicitous dictions have been used by the writer. It tells Love is like Air, you can’t hold it in your hands. You can inhale it inside you, but can’t hold it, it goes inside you, generates life in you and goes out. Love is not in acquiring, it is not a kingdom or game that you need to win, but it is a feeling.  It is more in GIVING than TAKING or EXPECTING. The writer skillfully engages the reader into the work’s depiction of feelings, emotions, and longings for the connection.

The book is comprised of various chapters. Each has different philosophy and theme connected with love. Khalil Gibran’s short poetic novel portrays his autobiographical life of his first and last love, the great philosopher who met a girl named Selma Keremy at Beirut, Lebanon. The very first chapter throws light on the brief summary of the book in a philosophical way that how Selma leads him into the garden of high affection and she becomes Eve of his heart. The affection and compassion of her love makes him understand the meaning of life. For him yesterday was beautiful and today has become a silent secret in the bosom of the earth. Time has no heal over him and still painful memories flapped him like invisible wings around him. The description, philosophy and mystery of love have a powerful overflow of emotions when one starts reading this book. Although, he has lost his love but the past memories haunt him and compel him to revive his love for the Selma.

In the remaining chapters, the author takes into account the detail overview of his life in the novel. He begins with;

“In the spring of the wonderful year, I was in Beirut. The gardens were full of Nisan flowers and the earth was carpeted with green grass, and like a secret of earth revealed to Heaven. The orange trees and apple trees, looking like houris or brides sent by nature to inspire poets and excite the imagination, were wearing white garments of perfumed blossoms. Spring is beautiful everywhere, but it is most beautiful in Lebanon”.

Khalil is in Beirut, who meets Ferris Effandi, a friend of his father. The young man meets and falls in love with the daughter of Effendi, Selma, who is described by the author as “beautiful in both spirit and body.” They are not permitted from marrying when the village bishop chooses Selma to be the wife for his nephew. After Selma marries, she and her friend do not meet again until they see each other at her father’s house just before his death. After five years she gives birth to a beautiful boy who dies as soon as he takes birth. She begins to see death as her rescuer. When her newborn son dies, she holds him in her arms and says, “You have come to take me away my child . . . lead me and let us leave this dark cave.” At one moment after Selma’s marriage, Kahlil pleads Selma to elope with him to get rid of the tortures of her husband and Bishop. But she declines and asserts – “a bird with a broken wing can’t fly too far”.

Defying the social customs of the day, the two meet secretly and regularly in a secluded temple to talk and share their thoughts. These bittersweet hours spent together cannot heal Selma’s failing health, which is caused by unhappiness. And the pessimism of Gibran in his later life makes him realizes the bitterness of world he lives in. A tragic love story of this novel marks an in-depth impression on reader’s life. This novel also highlights the corrupt clergy of the vey day.

Share this story