The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America

David Whyte begins his book with the lines by Dante Alighieri in his Commedia

In the middle of the road of my life
I awoke in a dark wood
Where the true way was wholly lost.

… the journey begins right here. In the middle of the road. Right beneath your feet. This is the place. There is no other place and no other time… the human mind never sees success as “here” but always ahead, down the road… you must look hard at the road you are taking now as much as the hoped-for-destination. You must admit what you see on that road and grieve long for what you do not. Then you have a possibility of waking… yes, this is a frightening interior energy… but you must nevertheless enter… or die of paralysis on the banks of the pool… the true man was the twice-born man. That is, the mature person was one who had entered the oceanic qualities of the soul and survived that baptism… the price of our vitality is the sum of all our fears, that the price of passion and commitment involves the shattering of deep personal illusions of immunity and safety…


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