01 Aug Pause for thought: Dive into the poetry of David Whyte
“You always meet the new you in the form of a stranger.”—David Whyte
For our loyal readers, it will not come as a surprise of our affection for the poet David Whyte. Not only do I love reading his work, but having the opportunity to hear him recite it, is something else. Within his cadence, there is a wisdom that resonates with a love of words and then, sneaks into the depths of my soul.
During this global lock-down and pause, he has offered an online series called “Three Sundays with David Whyte”. I listened to the series in May and July. For 90 minutes each Sunday, he shared poetry and the stories that give life and context to those works. He transports listeners to the places that inspired his words. I came to look forward to that time as it became a mini-sabbath during my week where nothing is required of me but to listen and be totally present.
Now, this is not poetry from our junior high Language Arts/English classes. David’s poetry meets us where we are today. Even if poetry isn’t your thing, I would invite you to listen to David. One of my other favorites is “The Conversational Nature of Reality” episode from Krista Tippett’s podcast On Being where you get a glimpse of his insight.
For any of you that are looking for a moment of breath during your week, David is offering another 3-week series in September called “A Half Shade Braver“. I highly recommend it for anyone who has been moved by his work. You can use this link to get to his page to register. There is a cost but it is worth it.
For a little taste of his work, here is a snippet from one of his poems “Self Portrait” – it moves me every time I hear or read it.
“It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
if you can know despair or see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you.”
– David Whyte
From River Flow
New and Selected Poems
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press
If this pause is something you crave, perhaps we can help. Check out the resources on our website.