David Whyte: Essentials

"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."

If you are craving some soul food, Essentials, a collection of poems by David Whyte, has all the necessary ingredients. His poetry offers sweet tastes of blue notes as you read and explore the sublime and often melancholic nature of being human.

It is said that "The Blues" is a big house. Whyte's blues are infused with an Irish spirit. It may be a result of our shared roots, but I feel an inexplicable connection to his work. His notes strike my need to question as an answer.

I came to know David Whyte through a podcast entitled the Conversational Nature of Reality hosted by Krista Tippett of On Being. David's thoughts on life and poetry were so engaging that while listening I ordered second and third helpings; by rewinding and listening again and again. The experience compelled me to purchase Essentials so I could revisit his words.

Below are a few poems from the Essentials collection. You can learn more about David Whyte and his poetry at www.davidwhyte.com.

“Sweet Darkness”

When your eyes are tired

the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone,

no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark

where the night has eyes

to recognize its own.

There you can be sure

you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your home

tonight.

The night will give you a horizon

further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.

The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds

except the one to which you belong.

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.

Click here to listen to him read his poem, Sweet Darkness.

"The Bell and the Blackbird"

The sound of a bell Still reverberating, or a blackbird calling from a corner of the field, asking you to wake into this life, or inviting you deeper into the one that waits. Either way takes courage, either way wants you to be nothing but that self that is no self at all, wants you to walk to the place where you find you already know how to give every last thing away. The approach that is also the meeting itself, without any meeting at all. That radiance you have always carried with you as you walk both alone and completely accompanied in friendship by every corner of the world crying Allelujah.

© 2017 by Namaste Connections.