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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poetry that tells you something you didn't know you knew, 21 Mar 2002
This review is from: Fire in the Earth (Paperback)
David Whyte said in one of his talks: "a poet is someone who tells you something you didn't know you knew" and this is what this small collection feels like. Written at the beginning of his writing life, his poem "No One Told Me" tells of "the sharp edge of experience that led me here". Through his own experiences, his poems frequently leave you with "yes, I have felt that".
The small volume contains four booklets: Fire in the Body, Fire in the Voice, Fire in the Quiet, and Fire in the Mountains. They range from reminiscences of internal journeys, the journeys of the heart, to external ones -- the mountains, London, and the steppes. But he is always bringing you back to yourself, and he uses many references to Bhuddism and particularly Zen to do it. I find it a continual pleasure to pick up.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Prophecy From the Rosy Fire, 23 April 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Fire in the Earth (Paperback)
David Whyte's FIRE IN THE EARTH is rival knowledge for anyone whose belief system excludes the Mystery. And rival it must, taking the reader on a journey through several paths renegotiating the usual ontological arguments of our birth, being, becoming and eventual death as humans.
He begins by smashing the prophetic crystal ball of our culture and naming the existential fear of unknowing and alientation from a collective vision of moving forward together. He then substitutes a pattern of spiralling fire - super nova - as the original spark igniting a rival vision of the potential human.
Framing his argument in triple lines, Whyte's technique introduces a slippage that brings another vision into the centre challenging our identity and strategies for safety fending off our fear of the unknown. Having dismissed with fire imagery that warms, comforts and protects, he confronts and coaxes us to come into the fire of transformation by blocking our exit back he convinces us to give up the old habitual patterns of self-destruction, addiction and bargaining.
Here in this transformative fire, we are humbled by our own small vision, the one true path. Whyte invokes the idea of desire which is not owning or clinging to possessions, rather this desire is freeing. "Now the path of leaving is the path" he says, meaning, I think, that paradox is fuelling the fire of the "I" vision - the way foward becomes "faith in no path where there is no faith at all." The soul's light then explodes onto the page forging us a glimmer of the longings, desires and wants that arise from the original fire of our begetting.
And yet, in spite of all the fireworks, the path is not illumined and the journey falters once again. What is required on this journey is a "feral act of courage" to make a voluntary "fall" into the fire of desire. Here in that ex nihlio moment of becoming an enlightened human being from nothing a new prophecy is awakened from within the heart of the body, in the image of the fiery rose.
This book is a transcendent vision of a journey of rebirth into Eros, vision, the beloved, relationship with the sacred and the inner fire of the Mystery. It has gotten me through many a long, dark night of the soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, 20 April 2013
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This review is from: Fire in the Earth (Paperback)
Awesome poet. David Whyte is one of my favorite contemporary poets. His words take you on a wonderful journey of peace and self awareness. This is an old book, very hard to find. Pleased with the purchase and the chap who sent it.
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Fire in the Earth
Fire in the Earth by David Whyte (Paperback - Jan 1992)
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