It has ever and always been true, David Whyte reminds us, that so much of human experience is a conversation between loss and celebration. This conversational nature of reality — indeed, this drama of vitality — is something we have all been shown, willing or unwilling, in these years. Many have turned to David Whyte for his gorgeous, life-giving poetry and his wisdom at the interplay of theology, psychology, and leadership — his insistence on the power of a beautiful question and of everyday words amidst the drama of work as well as the drama of life. The notion of “frontier” — inner frontiers, outer frontiers — weaves through this hour. We surface this as a companion for the frontiers we are all on just by virtue of being alive in this time.
David Whyte is the author of many books of poetry and prose. He 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 in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. He holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has worked as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. His books include The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words, and The Bell and the Blackbird. His latest collections are David Whyte: Essentials and Still Possible.
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "David Whyte — Seeking Language Large Enough." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.
This show originally aired in April, 2016.