The Poetry of David Whyte  

David Whyte was born in November, 1955 and grew up among the hills and valleys of his father’s Yorkshire. He now makes his home in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but his Irish mother imaginative influence is still at play among his words.


The Lightest Touch

Good poetry begins with
the lightest touch,
a breeze arriving from nowhere,
a whispered healing arrival,
a word in your ear,
a settling into things,
then like a hand in the dark
it arrests the whole body,
steeling you for revelation.

In the silence that follows
a great line
you can feel Lazarus
deep inside
even the laziest, most deathly afraid
part of you,
lift up his hands and walk toward the light.


David is the author of seven books of poetry and three books of prose, A zoologist by training, he loves to travel, and has worked as a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands. He has also lead anthropological and natural history expeditions in the Andes, Amazon and Himalaya. You can see his connection to the natural world reflected in his writing.


Second Sight

Sometimes, you need the ocean light,
and colors you’ve never seen before
painted through an evening sky.

Sometimes you need your God
to be a simple invitation,
not a telling word of wisdom.

Sometimes you need only the first shyness
that comes from being shown things
far beyond your understanding,
so that you can fly and become free
by being still and by being still here.

And then there are times you need to be
brought to ground by touch
and touch alone.

To know those arms around you
and to make your home in the world
just by being wanted.

To see those eyes looking back at you,
as eyes should see you at last,
seeing you, as you always wanted to be seen,
seeing you, as you yourself
had always wanted to see the world.


Working Together

We shape our self?to fit this world
and by the world?are shaped again.
The visible?and the invisible
working together?in common cause,
to produce?the miraculous.
I am thinking of the way?the intangible air
passed at speed?round a shaped wing
easily?holds our weight.
So may we, in this life
to those elements?we have yet to see
or imagine,
and look for the true
shape of our own self,
by forming it well
to the great?intangibles about us.


It is Not Enough

It is not enough to know.
It is not enough to follow
the inward road conversing in secret.
It is not enough to see straight ahead,
to gaze at the unborn?thinking the silence belongs to you.
It is not enough to hear
even the tiniest edge of rain.
You must go to the place?where everything waits,
there, when you finally rest,?even one word will do,
one word or the palm of your hand?turning outward
in the gesture of gift.
And now we are truly afraid
to find the great silence
asking so little.
One word, one word only.


14 Responses to “The Poetry of David Whyte  ”

  1. Hi Gail – My morning coffee will never be the same. Yours is the voice in my head when I set my annual budget, go shopping for the things I need, when I make savings plans and retirement plans, and even budget for the simple pleasures that make my life awesome.

    I have loved every word of your blogs. I’ve learned about knitting, painting, autism, poetry, delicious recipes, African travel and of course everything a practical human being needs to know about finances.

    Thank you so much, I am going to miss this more than you will ever know. Please do enjoy your next phase.

    (Please tell me the archives will still be active?)

    Thank you!


  2. …heard you’re leaving at the end of this week…

    That the pits.

    I miss you already.

  3. I have a strong desire to repeat my message from your last post.

    I wish “they” would put your TV shows on dvd, and allow us to purchase them.



  4. I’m in for purchasing a TDDP cd set! ANYBODY ELSE?????

  5. Yes, I would love to have them on DVD’S. I’d certainly buy them.

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  10. Beautiful words
    Sometimes, you need the ocean light,
    and colors you’ve never seen before
    painted through an evening sky.

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