I consider it a massive victory to gain even a slightly different perspective on a topic. After all, the most important elements of the human condition have been so thoroughly addressed for so very long that a genuinely new take is incredibly unlikely. This unlikeliness increases the more common, more universal the topic of inquiry: it’s harder to write a unique love song than a track about Newcomb’s paradox.
Enter poet David Whyte doing the near-impossible. Not only does he reliably offer refreshingly new insights, he does so regarding “everyday words” firmly stuffed in a societal bin labeled “We Already Know What These Words Mean.”
I distinctly remember laughing after consuming “Honesty.” I definitely know what honesty is, but I’m sure he’ll say some pretty things that will prove useful in reminding me what I already know. Wrong in a wonderful way. Outlier this was not: at a rate only Barry Bonds could sniff, D Whyte pumps out unequaled originality that will change what you think, know, and believe.
I concluded this from a few of these pieces (which I’ve circled) that I encountered outside of this book. So yes, in breaking from tradition, I am sending a book that I have not completely read. I am willing to make an exception because I’m so confident in Whyte’s brilliance. And, really, if you only read the circled pieces, sending you this book will have been worth it.