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Hannah Hart reads "On Work" from Khalil Gibran's book, The Prophet.

Hannah Hart:

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Hello.  My name is Hannah Hart and I'll be reading the poem "On Work" by Khalil Gibran.  Now, I chose this poem because I love my work and well, this poem is about how work is love.  Enjoy.

On Work

Then a ploughman said, Speak to us of Work.
And he answered, saying: 
You work that you may keep pace with the earth
and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the 
seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that
marches in majesty and proud submission towards
the infinite.  

When you work, you are a flute through whose
heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you will be a reed, dumb and silent,
when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse
And labour a misfortune.  
But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a
part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when
that dream was born, 
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in
truth loving life, 
And love life through labour is to be intimate
with life's inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and
the support of the flesh a curse written upon your 
brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of
your brow shall wash away that which is written.

You have been told also that life is darkness, and
in your weariness you echo what was said by the
And I say that life is indeed darkness save when
there is urge, 
And all urge is blind save when there is know-
And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,
And all work is empty save when there is love;
And when you work with love you bind yourself
to yourself, and to one another, and to God.  

And what is it to work with love?  
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from
your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that
It is to build a house with affection, even as if 
your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest
with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to change all things you fashion with a breath
of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are stand-
ing about you and watching.

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in
sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape
of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who
ploughs the soil.
And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth
in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes 
the sandals for our feet."
But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness 
of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly
to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of
And he alone is great who turns the voice of the
wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

Work is love made visible.  
And if you cannot work with love but only with 
distaste, it is better that you should leave your work
and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of
those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake
a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes,
your grudge distills a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not
the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of
the day and the voices of of the night.