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Crossing the Unknown Sea: Working as a Pilgrimage of Identity [Hardcover]

David Whyte
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 2001
Crossing the Unknown Sea shows how poetry and practicality, far from being mutually exclusive, reinforce each other to give every aspect of our lives meaning and direction. For anyone who wants to deepen their connection to their work-or find out what their life's work is-this book is essential to navigating the way.

"Readers who accept poet and Fortune 500 consultant Whyte's invitation to enter into 'an imaginative conversation about life and work' are likely to be challenged as well as delighted by the beauty of his writing and the expansiveness of his views. Gracefully using the metaphor of a sea voyage to depict the journey through the world of work, Whyte views work not only as a means of support, but as a means for interacting with the world and developing self-expression and identity...An abundance of provocative ideas... thoughtful readers will wholeheart-edly savor this book." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam (Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573221783
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573221788
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 15 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 525,771 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

David Whyte has introduced poetry into such companies as American Express, Boeing, and Toyota as a tool for understanding individual and organizational creativity. In addition to four volumes of poetry, he is the author of The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
Work is a very serious matter in almost all respects, whether it is work in the shelter of our home or work in the big, wide, dangerous world. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poet at work 9 Jan 2003
This is a book about the relationship between individuals and the organisations they work for, encouraging each of us to assert our own individuality and identity more courageously to shape our working lives. David Whyte argues, and I believe too, that this will benefit both individual and organisation. He makes a case, through the persuasive power of his own writing, for the vision and influence that poetry can offer the business world. If this is a "business book" it's an unusually well-written one, that should be read by anyone who works. As a "business writer" I share David's belief in the relevance of poetry and creative writing to our lives at work. I'm delighted to read a book that adds weight and insight to my own life and writing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fold away the flip charts and switch off the PowerPoint presentation is Whyte's advice to business leaders and anyone who would prefer not to be where they currently are. Instead, hold meaningful conversations with the people around you. These conversations go beyond chatting about what was on TV the previous night and are ones that come from a deep sense of an inner journey.
Whyte is a poet and writes as a poet. His use of metaphor throughout is excellent and challenges the reader to reach within their own imagination. That is what he is recommending: reach within your self and find that which drives you, excites you, makes you angry or passionate. Connecting with the inner workings of the imagination starts off a journey of self-discovery and expression leading to greater fulfilment and authentic existence.
Although Whyte is not aware of this, complexity scientists have reached this point too. So his writings are more than the ramblings of a poet. They are based on a solid foundation of normal human identity, communication and group dynamics.
I recommend this book for those seeking inspiration and those trying to encourage creativity. However, do not expect the bullet point crispness of other management books. This book is about creating your own solutions.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I found myself crossing my own unknown sea while reading this book. It constantly pushed me to thresholds of understanding about my own work and what I want from it. The author's life and adventures are quite amazing unusual and compelling but I found that he constantly grounded the metaphor of his own journey into the realities that many of us face in the office or the commute. Beautifully, even hauntingly written, Crossing the Unknown Sea gave me just the grand perspective I needed to make some crucial courageous decisions in my life. Buy, beg or borrow this book, it is a real tonic for the those of us sometimes overwhelmed by the huge demands of work and career.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you work, and live, this is a must-read! 26 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tremendously well described basis for how work can and should fit into my (or your) life, and why. Great examples from the author's own experience, anecdotes, poetry and beautiful prose, and anything else it takes to help me create a picture of where I could be, why that could be a better place, and how I could, slowly or quickly, move in that direction and generally reduce the frictions, stress and conflicts of everyday life. A life-changing book and a pleasant and beautiful read at the same time. Unclear why not in print in the UK!!
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