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Midlife and the Great Unknown

Narrated by: David Whyte
Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (179 ratings)
Regular price: $17.47
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Publisher's Summary

"In the middle of the road of my life I awoke in a dark wood, where the true way was wholly lost."

When you find yourself suddenly without bearings, as Dante Alighieri voiced so well centuries ago, where will you look for guidance? Throughout the ages, teaches David Whyte, the language of poetry has held a special power to hazard ourselves boldly at the "fierce edges" of our lives.

On Midlife and the Great Unknown, you will engage with poetic imagination as it was meant to be experienced: as your companion and guide for the challenging terrain of midlife. Join this Yorkshire-born poet and bestselling author to explore:

  • "Radical simplification": an invitation to sit in silent reflection and observation
  • Using your poetic imagination to navigate life's cycles of loss and joy
  • Honoring who you are right now, including your skills and limitations, and more

    The language of poetry can "emancipate" you into the next phase of your existence, teaches David Whyte. It can help you break through obstacles and give you courage to take necessary risks. Drawing from the wisdom of fellow poets Rainer Maria Rilke, Emily Dickinson, and Seamus Heaney, Whyte invites you to boldly engage in a conversation with the second half of your life on Midlife and the Great Unknown.

  • ©2003 David Whyte (P)2008 Sounds True

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    • Katherine
    • WATERTOWN, MA, United States
    • 01-21-13

    Favorite long drive CD

    Would you listen to Midlife and the Great Unknown again? Why?

    I do listen to it again and again and find new aspects of David's narrative every time I listen to it again.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I first met David Whyte at a CEO Roundtable retreat in Boston 3-4 years ago and immediately afterwards got this CD (this was before I was a member of Audible) and all his books. It's the kind of poetry and narrative that you cannot read as a "gulp" but need to read 1-2 poems a day or when the mood strikes and think about it. Sometimes I open the book randomly and read a poem. I have favorites and re-read them periodically. David's way with words is so unusual, eloquent and at the same time eloquent not in a sense of futile fancifulness, but able to express deep feelings in very few carefully chosen and positioned words. Nothing to add, nothing to trip. Perfect expression of one man's feelings at one particular moment.

    What does David Whyte bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    David reads his (and other poets') poetry in a very special way: the way he uses pauses and repeats some lines makes poems "penetrate" you with a special force. I probably would not have understood all of his poetry had I not first met David Whyte in person and heard him read his poems.

    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Midlife and the Great Unknown?

    Too many to list, but main one is "being on the frontier" where we all are every day and every moment of our lives and how we deal with this frontier: before making first step into scary unknown, it is best to first find the ground on which you stand. Finding that foundation is what many people spend lifetime doing. It is right there, otherwise you would not exist - and yet it takes deliberate attention to really know what it is.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    answers to questions I didn't know I had

    I've heard some of the things he talks about in other places. this book brings those things back to mind in an engaging and fresh way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    • Jon D.
    • North Carolina, USA
    • 01-03-19

    life changing, only wish there was a print version

    life changing, only wish there was a print version as there are so many insights to be taken from this. i will be listening again and again

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    A Must Listen

    Listen to this book now if you’re anywhere in the middle of life and beyond. It’s beauty and depth is unspeakable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    Another soul-nurturing book by David Whyte

    One of my favorite poets. My go-to for spiritual insights and for "filling the well."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    I love this book with all my heart

    I carry it with me and listen at least a couple times a year. The poetry and wisdom resonate and stay with you and help the heart to face its frontiers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    Dissapointing

    This so-called audiobook sounds as if David Whyte is thinking in his feet. Next time just have him recite poems. This is NOT a book.

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    • JCWC
    • New York, NY
    • 09-18-18

    Extraordinary

    What a fantastic book. I can listen to David’s voice all day everyday and the lessons, the poems, the friends and teachers you find in this book thru David’s light. Magnificent.

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    It’s great

    This is the first time I’ve listened to a book on this app... I loved it and buy books through this. I had a friend share a book with me for and I’ve already shred books to my friends.

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    fabulous and relevent!

    whyte is an expert at bringing in voices from generations past and weaving them in to a story that it relevent to the present.

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    • Harold Hughes
    • 05-13-16

    Disappointing

    David Whyte is amazing and what he has to say is wonderful. Unfortunately the content of this book is word for word included in Clear Mind Wild Heart which I have already purchased and enjoyed very much. I will be returning this for a refund. It would help to make this clear before purchase.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    • Anonymous User
    • 01-08-19

    Joyous words from a wondrous poet

    This is a truly marvellous package from a wonderful man. His insights into the human condition coupled with his wonderful reading style (those repetitions!) of his, and others poems, make for something truly revelatory. I like the relatively short running time as it can listened to in its entirety again and again. Just like a good film. Revealing more and more of its depth and true awakened insight on subsequent listens. Revelatory.

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    • Heidi Marke
    • 12-03-18

    Wow.

    Wow. Now I get poetry. Deep nourishment. Thank you so much for writing this. Have started to read a few lines a day, as suggested.

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    • Amazon Customer
    • 08-29-16

    love it

    love David's work yet this overlaps with much of his calm mind wild heart audiobook

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    • Anonymous User
    • 10-16-18

    Stunning

    As always, David leads us into the exquisite depths of what it means to be human.

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    • mark devan
    • 09-15-18

    Simply brilliant work!

    Insightful and practical wisdom for midlife delivered through poetry by David Whyte. I really enjoyed it and felt it was written just for me. Will be listening to this it again and again.

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    • john
    • 06-10-16

    Poetry and wisdom

    I can recommend for anyone to take some time out and listen to David Whyte. Thanks.