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Shailene Woodley reads a poem on love from The Prophet by Khalil Gibran.


On Love (1923)
by Khalil Gibran

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Hey, I'm Shailene Woodley.

This is a poem called On Love written by Khalil Gibran, from the book The Prophet, and it came to me from a beloved. I'll never forget we were in bed together and he read me this poem and it took every single idea or philosophy I had on love and sort of turned it on its head and really showed me the truth of what love could be.

Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love.
And he raised his head and looked upon the peo-
ple, and there fell a stillness upon them.  And with a 
great voice he said:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions
may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the
north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify
you.  Even as he is for your growth so is he for your
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses
your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them
in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that
you may become sacred bread for God's sacred 

All these things shall love do unto you that you
may know the secrets of your heart, and in that
knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love's
peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your na-
kedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh,
but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of 
your tears.

Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but 
from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, "God is in my
heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love,
for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let
these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its
melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of 
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To awake at dawn with a winged heart and give
thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ec-
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in
your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.