When you think of areas of life that speak to the soul, and elicit poetry, you likely think of things like romantic relationships and natural landscapes. You probably don’t think of office work and cubicles.
But my guest today says that the soul is involved in every kind of work, and poetry is an essential vehicle for examining what your work is doing to your soul, and for learning to bring more soul into what you do. His name is David Whyte and he’s a poet, a philosopher, and the author of multiple books of both poetry and prose, as well as a corporate consultant who uses poetry to help companies with their organizational leadership. We begin our conversation with David’s background in marine zoology and how his experience being a naturalist guide in the Galapagos Islands influenced his ideas on the conversational nature of reality. We discuss how the amount of time you spend at your job is greatly shaping who you are, the way we lose youthful idealism for our work, and the importance of inviting the right kind of danger into your life. David then unpacks what the ancient tale of Beowulf can teach men about having hard conversations both personally and professionally, and bridging one’s outer and inner lives. We talk as well about the importance of men having good friendships outside the office. Along the way, David reads a few short, stirring poems that speak to these themes.
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- How and why David went from marine zoologist to poet and philosopher
- The poetry of the office
- On allowing people to be themselves
- How Beowulf can help men explore the fear of bringing our soul into our work
- Men and work; men and friendship
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- 20 Classic Poems Every Man Should Read
- Our Disembodied Selves and the Decline of Empathy
- The Best Way to Find Your Vocation
- A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling
- Understanding the Wonderful, Frustrating Dynamic of Friendship
- Understanding Male Friendships
Connect With David
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