Review: David Whyte – What to Remember When Waking

Review: David Whyte – What to Remember When Waking


I was first introduced to David Whyte’s work during the worst part of a 10 day fast. I was lying in bed – crushed to succumb to fatigue and the fact that I would not realize my dreams of completing the work I had intended during this time.

I was then reintroduced to his work by a friend Jan McGuire who played this video for me (on Rilke’s The Swan).

David Whyte has the unique and invaluable talent of making poetry engaging and accessible… a colossal and sometimes seemingly impossible task. His love for the art seeps from his words. His readings are painfully beautiful because he is understandable. He can bring poems to life—in a way a naïve reader may not be able to… just as a team on a good movie can bring the lifeless text on a page to life. I would go so far as to say: he makes me wish I too was Irish.

My friend Will Deutsch referred me to this:


What to Remember When Waking: 6 CDs.

It’s hard for me to describe what this is…. Because to me it’s really more of an experience than anything.

Unlike “self-help” or “biography” or “motivation” or “poetry,” Whyte manages to lead us aesthetic experience of the human soul and psyche.

I need to resist posting anything about the poems that he discusses—or I should say enlightens. Text itself would neither do these poems justice nor Whyte’s brilliance.

If you have any interest in delving deeper into the subject of poetry: LISTEN TO THESE CDs. Furthermore, if you want to experience a sensitive and poetically brilliant journey into the meaning of life… LISTEN TO THESE CDs.

I’m so grateful to Will for introducing me to this work… It was an amazing experience. A great way to enjoy the commute in your car. You may just find yourself driving extra distances just to listen more.