‘Great poems,’ David Whyte has said, ‘are not about experience, but are the experience itself, felt in the body.’ Essentials is a collection of his own best poems, each in their way about capturing the experience itself, whether that is in the daily shifts, the ever-turning seasons or the bigger cycle of gain and grief that are part of our journey through life. Each poem is accompanied by a short context on where and when it was written. Together they form an elegant testament to David Whyte’s most closely-held understanding – that human life cannot be apportioned out as one thing or another; rather, it is best seen as a living conversation, a way between and beyond, made beautiful by darkness as well as light, at its essence both deeply solitary and profoundly communal.
This updated edition includes poems from his 2021 collection, Still Possible.
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