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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

    What members say

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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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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    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.

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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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    Inspiring

    Whyte’s ‘Midlife’ is the greatest book I’ve experienced in a long time, perhaps ever. The Audible version took it to a new level thanks to Whyte’s deep and resonant narration. We have frontiers both out there and in here — the edges of the known and unknown. Whyte shows we can live more fully by exploring both. We must let go of the past performance-based purposes we had in our adult lives, in which tended to be defined by the visceral needs of others; now we have the space to explore who we are made, uniquely, to be. It IS an identity crisis of sorts, but it ain’t gonna get resolved with a fling with a young thing or a red sports car. The way to resolution and fulfillment is to go through to true identity, to press in and discover what this edge is. This process gives us the chance to live more fully in our final seasons. Whyte’s intermingling of prose and poetry helps tether the art without being either pedestrian or preachy. Great book!

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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."

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    Life changing - brilliant and poignant

    David Whyte's poetry and philosophy expanded and narrated by the author. Deeply evocative and poignant - brilliantly written and eloquently narrated. This is one of the rare books that truly touched my life in the way I understand myself and thoughtfully choose how to live my life. His poetry resonated with me so much... Simply magnificent...a treasure.
    I have since then read "What to remember when waking" and am now reading other books by David Whyte.

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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.

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    Great book

    David pushes the limits of experience and shows us how to create value in our lives through poetry. He is truly one of a kind.

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    More wisdom from David Whyte

    There are many pearls of wisdom in this work by David, and it was thought-provoking all the way through. I heard him speak last year at an event, and this audio book was just like being there with him. Highly recommended.

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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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    • 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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    • john
    • 06-10-16

    Poetry and wisdom

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