David Whyte's body of work reflects the depth and breadth of a maturing artist, taking its readers on a passage through time and place, allowing us to bear witness to the constellation of difficulties, triumphs, adventures, losses, hopes and revelations that have shaped one particular human life.
Whether writing of his Yorkshire childhood, trekking in the Himalayas, youthful partings in the mountains of South America, fireside talks on a Welsh far with a friend with a passion for Blake or the Ireland of his mother's heart. David Whyte's poems have their feet planted firmly in the natural world, simultaneously inviting us to join him on the path and admonishing us to get down on our hands and knees in the thicket and find our own way.
RIVER FLOW contains over one hundred poems selected from five previously published works, together with 23 new poems, including a tribute to an Ethiopian woman navigating her first escalator, a meditation of love and benediction for his young daughter, and a cycle of Irish poems that convey his deep love of the land and lifelong appreciation for its wisdom. Within its cover are poems to be read and reread, poems that are sure to become companions on our own passage through the turbulent waters of a well-lived, well-loved life.
THE SEVEN STREAMS
Come down drenched, at the end of May,
with the cold rain so far into your bones
that nothing will warm you
except your own walking
and let the sun come out at the day's end
by Slievenaglasha with the rainbows doubling
over Mulloch Mor and see your clothes
streaming in the bright air. Be a provenance
of something gathered, a summation of
previous intuitions, let your vulnerabilities
walking on the cracked sliding limestone
be this time, not a weakness, but a faculty
for understanding what's about
to happen. Stand above the Seven Streams
letting the deep down current surface
around you, then branch and branch
as they do, back into the mountain
and as if you were able for that flow,
say the few necessary words
and walk on, broader and cleansed
for having imagined.
- David Whyte