I have been on a bit of a poetry kick lately, and after someone shared one of David Whyte’s poems (“Self-Portrait”) with me I decided to give this collection a try. I’m glad I did, simply because it was a good collection.
Also, I found some lines in another of his poems that really struck me. You see, I recently moved to a new city in a new state and am feeling somewhat disjointed. When I read Whyte’s poem “Millennium” (which is, indeed, about the then-approaching millennium…this collection was originally published in 1997) I came across the following lines and found them very relevant to my current situation:
Now is the path
of leaving the path.
And we hear our own voice
demanding of ourselves
a faith in no-path,
when there is no faith at all.
And moving forward takes feral courage,
opens the wildest
most outrageous light of all,
becomes the hardest path of all.
The firm line we drew in the sand
becomes a river we will not cross.
But the river of the soul flows on
and the soul
refuses safety until it finds the sea.
The ocean of longing,
the sea of your deeper want,
the gravity well of your own desire,
the place you would fall becomes
the place you are held.
It’s the idea that “moving forward takes feral courage” and the image of how “the place you would fall becomes / in falling / the place you are held” that really reached me. Plus, you know, they’re beautiful lines. So anyway, this is a little preview of Whyte’s collection. Generally speaking, Whyte’s poems tend to center on nature as a means of exploring the human experience. You should give it a try if you’re in the mood for a little poetry.