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'alertness is the hidden familiarity of discipline' - david whyte

“I’ve often felt that the deeper discipline of poetry is to overhear yourself say things you didn’t want to know about the world….” - David Whyte in conversation with Krista Tippet a friend once told me about how someone she knew never felt alone because her mother had taught her to learn the names of all the trees around her. So in whichever city she was, she was never friendless. She had realised the “intimacy of her surroundings”. Many languages teach us this. I can’t explain it, but I love the way hindi and urdu personify the everyay, how materials start to live and acquire character in tulu, malayalam and kannada. It is a kind of love, this comradeship with the souls of things - to know that the bookshelf is a witness to our disappointment, and the window’s true dream is to be open. to find music in the tinkling of vessels, and silence in the awkwardness of the breeze. “...we have so many allies in the world including the colour blue in the sky… this poem is an invitation to come out of the abstraction and back into the world again” says David Whyte “alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity”. wah. Kya baat hain yaar. This is what every poet knows, every lover feels, and every loner hides. This poem keeps richocheting around and coming back to me once every few days. and every time it feels like it is the secret of love. It is an honour to share it with you today :)





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