Lebanese-American artist and writer (1883–1931) best known for his writings on religion and for his best-selling 1923 spiritual-philosophical classic The Prophet. ALS signed “Kahlil Gibran,” two pages, 8.5 x 11, October 15, 1915. Letter to poet Orrick Johns. In part: “How more than gracious of you to send me this remarkable sonnet. It delights me exceedingly, and though it reveals a world beyond my reach I cannot but be moved by it. And what is this in life that sustains us, we poor children of hunger and thirst, but that which intensifies our thirst and deepens our hunger? Is it not the unattainable that loves and comforts us?—and how well you have expressed the unattainable in your sonnet. And may I not know more of you and your work? Indeed it would give me a real pleasure to read your poetry. And if some happy chance should find you again in this city, I would be very glad to see you and talk with you…many thanks for that wonderful sonnet.” In very good condition, with central vertical and horizontal folds, a few areas of paper loss and several tears to edges (not substantially affecting any writing), and scattered creases.
Gibran had published his first English poem earlier in 1915, and became increasingly involved in New York’s artistic scene. The recipient of this letter, poet Orrick Johns, was part of a literary group that included luminaries T. S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. In 1912, Johns rose to literary prominence after winning a poetry contest for his piece ‘Second Avenue,’ ousting Edna St. Vincent Millay's famed ‘Renascence.’ His next collection, ‘Asphalt and Other Poems’ was published in 1917; the warm approval Gibran lavished on him here may have been regarding a sonnet destined for that book. An elegantly penned literary letter from the beloved writer to a fellow, well-established poet. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA.
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