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Midlife and the Great Unknown: Finding Courage and Clarity Through Poetry

4.64  ·  Rating Details ·  102 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
"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 suddenly 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 a special power to hazard ourselves boldly at the "fierce edges" of o ...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Sounds True
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Morgan Blackledge
May 31, 2015 Morgan Blackledge rated it it was amazing
My wife and I just spent a day in the car, listening to this program, driving through the Southern California mountains, wineries and orchards, back and forth from a long, ridiculously gorgeous beach walk with our dogs.

It was essentially my first day off in 16 weeks.

It was a perfect, 75 degree day. The dogs were overjoyed. My wife was running and playing with them. She looked lovely. We were both in good health. The surf was gentle and warm. The sand was flat, clean and firm.

For a moment, it wa
Jun 24, 2016 Gydle rated it it was amazing
I thought I didn't like poetry. Well, I was wrong. I just needed to listen to it, not read it on a page in a book. Listen to it preferably walking along the ocean, or in a forest, with one ear out, tuned to the birdsong.

David Whyte's voice is like ice cream. Rich, sonorous, satisfying. The Irish undertones are so lovely.

Lots of people complain about him repeating lines. I find it helpful. Getting the whole poem just once would not work. He repeats bits of it, repeats the whole thing, talks about
Pat Loughery
Mar 19, 2014 Pat Loughery rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, audiobook
I really enjoyed Whyte's commentary and recitation of his own poetry and that of others. It's a bit rambling in nature, hard to follow his structure. But the reflections on becoming your true self and doing work that you can be wholehearted about, those were fantastic. So was the elegy for his Welsh friend. As if I didn't already know that I just need to read Whyte's entire collection, I'm more convinced now.

Two things were slightly annoying:

1. The way Whyte recites poetry includes this odd, dis
Anita Ashland
Feb 25, 2016 Anita Ashland rated it it was amazing
Whyte is my favorite poet, so it is wonderful to listen to him talk about the midlife passage, and how important it is to reap the harvest of this stage of life. He also weaves in quotes from his own poetry and the poetry of others like Rilke and Mary Oliver. This is the second time I've listened to this and I plan on listening to it once a quarter or so. There isn't a print version of this audio book. His insights are very Jungian to me and Jungian analyst James Hollis's audiobook Through the D ...more
Jun 14, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up because I liked some poems I had read by the author... I was 75% of the way through this book before I looked at the title and realized this may be for people going through a midlife crisis. HAHA maybe I am a little too young but HEY I'm in grad school so that counts as some sort of crisis, right?! Really good book, beautiful poems and analysis of life throughout.
Jan 05, 2009 Ryan rated it liked it
So much of poetry is in the reading; specifically in the rhythm. David Whyte is clearly talented and has some very interesting ideas and philosophies that resonate quite deeply. However, I could not get past something very little on this audio-book, his repetition of phrasing. Whenever Whyte chooses to place emphasis on something, a verse or line or couplet, he'll stop and repeat that line to place emphasis. I understand what he's trying to do. He's trying to draw our attention to what he believ ...more
C. Jellie
Mar 31, 2015 C. Jellie rated it liked it
This book was enjoyable and unexpected. Some beautiful poetry and ideas. However, the repetition of lines within the poems was distracting and annoying in the audio version as it stopped the flow of the poetry.
Feb 06, 2013 Donna rated it it was amazing
Loved it!! I listened to the entire CD while walking by the lake one spring morning .... the beauty of the poetry and the author's soothing voice captured my heart and soul. So beautiful! Listened to the CD several times more since that day and continue to enjoy it and be inspired by it as I was the first time.
Donna Fleetwood
Apr 26, 2013 Donna Fleetwood rated it it was amazing
This book, this book. My guide through the woods in midlife. I cannot put a date that I finished it because I read it again and again in pieces
Shawn Neville
Jun 03, 2013 Shawn Neville rated it it was amazing
I have this on Audio from SoundsTrue. It's the one audio-book I always leave on my Ipod.
David Roberts
Mar 04, 2013 David Roberts rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writers-group-3
My first exposure to David Whyte, and I've devoured everything since.
Feb 09, 2013 Camille rated it liked it
Wonderful. It made me feel like I could understand and read poetry.
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Poet David Whyte 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.

The author of seven books of poetry and three books of prose, David Whyte holds a degree in Marine Zoology and has traveled extensively, including living and working as a naturalist guide in th
More about David Whyte...

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