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Clear Mind, Wild Heart: Finding Courage and Clarity Through Poetry

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In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood, where the true way was wholly lost. When you find yourself without bearings, as Dante Alighieri voiced so well centuries ago, where will you look for guidance? Throughout the ages, teaches David Whyte, the language of poetry has held the power to lend us courage, to give us the vision of those who endured, and to In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood, where the true way was wholly lost. When you find yourself without bearings, as Dante Alighieri voiced so well centuries ago, where will you look for guidance? Throughout the ages, teaches David Whyte, the language of poetry has held the power to lend us courage, to give us the vision of those who endured, and to hazard ourselves boldly at the fierce edges of our lives. On Clear Mind, Wild Heart you will join this acclaimed poet and teacher to engage with the poetic imagination as your companion and guide for the difficult terrain we are all traversing. Poetry, teaches Whyte, offers immediate and powerful tools unique from any other tradition. It can help us to see beyond the fragile surfaces of our lives, open us to the universal cycles and patterns that shape our lives, and awaken our conversation with what has been called the Untouchable, the Numinous, or the Eternal. Clear Mind, Wild Heart guides you into the wellspring of this living poetic tradition through six hours of exploration and poetry with David Whyte, including the verses of such inspired voices as Emily Dickinson, William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Marina Tsvetayeva, Rainer Maria Rilke, Antonio Machado, and others. Through their words, you will discover how to apprentice yourself to beauty and find a place of belonging where you can hold loss and grief, the challenges of change, and the wonder of new discovery and adventure. The language of poetry takes us outside of our small selves and calls us to look at ourselves and the world with open eyes, teaches David Whyte. Whether you are a lifelong poetry lover or new to its insights and pleasures, Clear Mind, Wild Heart is an inspiring guide to answering that call. Learn More About: Finding the courage to hazard yourself in the world - Emily Dickinson on the alive-ness of words - Conversing with the unknowable - The harvest of your attention - How the language of poetry teaches us a relationship with silence - Goethe's Holy Longing - Apprenticing yourself to beauty - Blake's reflections on innocence and experience - Creating a house of belonging through speech and imagination - Work, the pilgrimage into identity - Who are you? How presence shrives you of your old identity - Encountering the visitations of loss, grief, and defeat - The poetic spirit in marriage, parenting, and friendship - Six hours of exploration, as taught in David Whyte's acclaimed seminars and retreats


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In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood, where the true way was wholly lost. When you find yourself without bearings, as Dante Alighieri voiced so well centuries ago, where will you look for guidance? Throughout the ages, teaches David Whyte, the language of poetry has held the power to lend us courage, to give us the vision of those who endured, and to In the middle of the road of my life, I awoke in a dark wood, where the true way was wholly lost. When you find yourself without bearings, as Dante Alighieri voiced so well centuries ago, where will you look for guidance? Throughout the ages, teaches David Whyte, the language of poetry has held the power to lend us courage, to give us the vision of those who endured, and to hazard ourselves boldly at the fierce edges of our lives. On Clear Mind, Wild Heart you will join this acclaimed poet and teacher to engage with the poetic imagination as your companion and guide for the difficult terrain we are all traversing. Poetry, teaches Whyte, offers immediate and powerful tools unique from any other tradition. It can help us to see beyond the fragile surfaces of our lives, open us to the universal cycles and patterns that shape our lives, and awaken our conversation with what has been called the Untouchable, the Numinous, or the Eternal. Clear Mind, Wild Heart guides you into the wellspring of this living poetic tradition through six hours of exploration and poetry with David Whyte, including the verses of such inspired voices as Emily Dickinson, William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Marina Tsvetayeva, Rainer Maria Rilke, Antonio Machado, and others. Through their words, you will discover how to apprentice yourself to beauty and find a place of belonging where you can hold loss and grief, the challenges of change, and the wonder of new discovery and adventure. The language of poetry takes us outside of our small selves and calls us to look at ourselves and the world with open eyes, teaches David Whyte. Whether you are a lifelong poetry lover or new to its insights and pleasures, Clear Mind, Wild Heart is an inspiring guide to answering that call. Learn More About: Finding the courage to hazard yourself in the world - Emily Dickinson on the alive-ness of words - Conversing with the unknowable - The harvest of your attention - How the language of poetry teaches us a relationship with silence - Goethe's Holy Longing - Apprenticing yourself to beauty - Blake's reflections on innocence and experience - Creating a house of belonging through speech and imagination - Work, the pilgrimage into identity - Who are you? How presence shrives you of your old identity - Encountering the visitations of loss, grief, and defeat - The poetic spirit in marriage, parenting, and friendship - Six hours of exploration, as taught in David Whyte's acclaimed seminars and retreats

30 review for Clear Mind, Wild Heart: Finding Courage and Clarity Through Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    E.

    Although not technically a book (it's an audio series on six disks), David Whyte's readings in Clear Mind, Wild Heart are too good to miss. I'll admit, I was a little worried when I first started listening to the series because Whyte has the practiced drone of a lecturing professor. But unlike those undergrad classes where I found myself nodding off, the more I listened to what Whyte had to say the more awake and enthusiastic I felt. As the title itself suggests, Whyte engages the intellect whil Although not technically a book (it's an audio series on six disks), David Whyte's readings in Clear Mind, Wild Heart are too good to miss. I'll admit, I was a little worried when I first started listening to the series because Whyte has the practiced drone of a lecturing professor. But unlike those undergrad classes where I found myself nodding off, the more I listened to what Whyte had to say the more awake and enthusiastic I felt. As the title itself suggests, Whyte engages the intellect while speaking directly to the heart. Far from being a "self-help" series prepackaged with trite, ineffectual solutions to life's complex problems, Whyte doesn't pretend have easy answers for those longing for change in their lives. Instead he talks about poetry and passion, and how to use language to engage our experiences (both inner and outer) with a sense of ease and adventure. Peppered with funny and thoughtful anecdotes from his own life, Whyte also draws on global wisdom traditions that recognize an essential, lifegiving connection with nature and creative expression. This is a great series for those struggling especially with corporate work, or who are looking for meaningful words to challenge their everyday perceptions of the world around them. If an audio series isn't your thing, you can also find many of the ideas Whyte covers in Clear Mind, Wild Heart in his written works: The Heart Aroused: Poetry and Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity, and The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self, and Relationship... just to name a few.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Listened to this on audio CD and really enjoyed it--though I sometimes wished I had a physical book so I could go back over the passages I particularly enjoyed and re-read the poems. I kept scrambling for pieces of paper to write down the parts I loved... These are essentially lectures on how to use the practice of reading, seeing, and listening poetically in our everyday lives. At first I was worried they were going to be cheesy and self-helpish, but I found Whyte's ideas to be profound and app Listened to this on audio CD and really enjoyed it--though I sometimes wished I had a physical book so I could go back over the passages I particularly enjoyed and re-read the poems. I kept scrambling for pieces of paper to write down the parts I loved... These are essentially lectures on how to use the practice of reading, seeing, and listening poetically in our everyday lives. At first I was worried they were going to be cheesy and self-helpish, but I found Whyte's ideas to be profound and applicable in a very lovely way. He affirms the usefulness of art--the philosophical necessity of something that is often seen as a luxurious or recreational or, perhaps, decadent? I really believe in literature, in music, in visual art, in theatre--in their ability to endow and reveal meaning, to teach and persuade and argue. And poetry is its own special condensation of these things. I am all for finally seeing things poetically that can't be revealed or explained in any other way.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Solveig

    This is an astonishingly beautiful audio book. I only wish it was also in print form so that I could re-read sections and dwell longer on the poetry in it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mark Valentine

    Poetry electrifies me by illuminating me, energizing me, and connecting me to a power greater than myself. Whyte's teaching helped me get through a rough patch; his inspiring instruction helped me in a way that is hard to describe. He used the word "frontier" several times and I feel like I am on some kind of interior frontier. I feel like I am molting. Whyte read (it's an audiobook that I listened to while commuting) poems of others (Rilke, Dickinson, Yeats, Rumi, Blake, Dante, et. al.) as well Poetry electrifies me by illuminating me, energizing me, and connecting me to a power greater than myself. Whyte's teaching helped me get through a rough patch; his inspiring instruction helped me in a way that is hard to describe. He used the word "frontier" several times and I feel like I am on some kind of interior frontier. I feel like I am molting. Whyte read (it's an audiobook that I listened to while commuting) poems of others (Rilke, Dickinson, Yeats, Rumi, Blake, Dante, et. al.) as well as his own poems. He spoke anecdotally of his travels, his peregrinations, his infatuation with words, his humiliations, his conversations, his loneliness, his lessons learned from others. Highly recommended for someone in love with Beauty.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karly Grice

    4.5–I loved this one, but half a star off because it’s only an audiobook and I actually think it would work better being able to slowly pore over what Whyte is saying rather than listening to it. I heard a segment of this on Krista Tippet’s On Being and the full thing is basically a multi-part podcast/lecture from Whyte on vulnerability and being present, aided in his message by poetry, both his and others’.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shishir

    A riveting use of poetic language that conjures and ignites your imagination. Beautifully crafted and draws from many great poets and ideas.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I happened to listen to this audio book while changing jobs somewhat unexpectedly (though it was a long time in coming), and his words created the perfect space in which to formulate my thoughts and plans with absolute calm and certainty that taking a risk and stepping out of the boat like Peter did to walk upon the water, if only for a step, is the only way to live. I'm fascinated by the way he links thoughts together, not through any linear organizing principle but as a cloud of associations t I happened to listen to this audio book while changing jobs somewhat unexpectedly (though it was a long time in coming), and his words created the perfect space in which to formulate my thoughts and plans with absolute calm and certainty that taking a risk and stepping out of the boat like Peter did to walk upon the water, if only for a step, is the only way to live. I'm fascinated by the way he links thoughts together, not through any linear organizing principle but as a cloud of associations that populate his poetic imagination. It made me feel more present with his thoughts to not be able to anticipate where his contemplations were leading. It is deeply relaxing just to sit with his thoughts.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    Amazing. David Whyte weaves such grounded insight from poetry his own life to coax us toward living more authentically, honestly, and passionately. I listened to this book as an mp3, and I'm already going back to it again. Hearing Whyte's voice and his tone makes it feel like you're sitting in on a lecture around his fireplace. Amazing. David Whyte weaves such grounded insight from poetry his own life to coax us toward living more authentically, honestly, and passionately. I listened to this book as an mp3, and I'm already going back to it again. Hearing Whyte's voice and his tone makes it feel like you're sitting in on a lecture around his fireplace.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Roberts

    If you're looking for a change in your life, you can't do better than David Whyte. If you're looking for a change in your life, you can't do better than David Whyte.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    insightful sometimes longwinded but too many jems hidden within to dismiss

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mike McFadden

    I listened to the audiobook. Great read with some overlapping stories from his "midlife and the great unknown" CD. I listened to the audiobook. Great read with some overlapping stories from his "midlife and the great unknown" CD.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    It was actually an audio book when i got it. Insight into some of the biggest ways we change as we move and grow.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Annagrace

    Not just as good as last time. Even better.

  14. 4 out of 5

    George

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kellymcgannon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cara

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amelea

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  19. 4 out of 5

    Patty Rose

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeni Goodrich

  21. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Dolin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kate Rice McHugh

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kaci

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bob Johnson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Shannon

  26. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

  28. 5 out of 5

    mayhugh

  29. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Anne Shiver Hunt

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