The poet-philosopher. To ask beautiful questions in unbeautiful moments. “Your great mistake is to act the drama / as if you were alone.” Rest as the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. The underlying meaning of everyday words.
“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn / anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive / is too small for you.” David Whyte is a poet and philosopher who believes in the power of a “beautiful question” amid the drama of work as well as the drama of life, and the ways the two overlap. He shared a deep friendship with the late Irish philosopher John O’Donohue. They were, David Whyte says, like “two bookends.” More recently, he’s written about the consolation, nourishment, and underlying meaning of everyday words.
David Whyte is a poet and an associate fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. He is the author of “The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America” and “Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.” His new book of poetry is “The Bell and the Blackbird.”
Find the transcript for this show at onbeing.org.