Editor’s note: Spiritualityhealth.com is posting written interviews with some of today’s more interesting spiritual teachers, as well as the great podcasts with Rabbi Rami. Here’s an excerpt from Elizabeth Marglin’s conversation with poet David Whyte, which we’ll join with the question:
Just why are poets so marvelously destabilizing?
In the Irish tradition, there’s always the use of destabilizing language. It undermines the context you think you are inhabiting in a good-humored way. In Irish conversation, whatever context you are inhabiting, there’s always another context that makes your context absurd. That’s in the Zen tradition too. They are constantly asking you to get out of yourself, go against yourself, get over yourself, to the point you get beyond yourself. That’s also the discipline of poetry.
So what’s the core of your poetry?
My work ultimately seems to be about getting poetry to as many people as possible because it is such a life saver. Such a life saver. At the core of poetry is the art of asking the beautiful question. Something that brings solace to human beings walking through th …