"David Whyte makes the reading of poetry a matter of life and death.
His writings have moved me and changed me."


- Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides and Beach Music

house of belonging

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THE HOUSE OF BELONGING

I awoke
this morning
in the gold light
turning this way
and that

thinking for
a moment
it was one
day
like any other.

But
the veil had gone
from my
darkened heart
and
I thought

it must have been the quiet
candlelight
that filled my room,

it must have been
the first
easy rhythm
with which I breathed
myself to sleep,

it must have been
the prayer I said
speaking to the otherness
of the night.

And
I thought
this is the good day
you could
meet your love,

this is the black day
someone close
to you could die.

This is the day
you realize
how easily the thread
is broken
between this world
and the next

and I found myself
sitting up
in the quiet pathway
of light,

the tawny
close grained cedar
burning round
me like fire
and all the angels of this housely
heaven ascending
through the first
roof of light
the sun has made.

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,
this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. BELONGING TO THE HOUSE

This Life
The House of Belonging
At Home
It Happens to Those Who Live Alone
Winter Child
What I Must Tell Myself

II. BELONGING TO THE NIGHT

Sweet Darkness
All the True Vows
What to Remember When Waking
The Winter of Listening
The Well of Stars
The Journey

III. BELONGING TO PLACES

Yorkshire
Elderflower
Ten Years Later
Four Horses
The Horse Whisperer
Tienamen(The Man in Front of the Tank)

IV. BELONGING TO THOSE I KNOW

Brendan
Edward
Dougie
The Hawthorne
Two Strangers
Working Together
Loaves and Fishes
This Poem Belongs to You
The Sun
The Truelove