I was blessed with the opportunity to listen to David Whyte in person. The poem below was his opening poem for the day and the short video clip above is an itsy-bitsy example of his speaking. To read more of his work or to see his schedule, visit his website at: www.davidwhyte.com
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by David Whyte
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings.
Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
About the Poet
Poet David Whyte was born in 1955 and grew up with a strong, imaginative influence from his Irish mother among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home, with his family, in the Pacific Northwest. The author of six books of poetry, and two best selling prose books, he has a degree in Marine Zoology and has lived and worked as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. He’s also led anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, the Amazon, and the Himalaya. An Associate Fellow at Templeton College and Said Business School at the University of Oxford, he is one of the few poets to take his perspectives on creativity into the field of organizational development, where he works with many European, American and international companies. In 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Neumann College, Pennsylvania.