Poetry, Prose, and Manifestation

"A problem cannot be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

Today, a friend of mine spoke about poetry and prose. He claimed that Obama was a candidate for poetry but a president of prose. He hopes Obama can keep his poetry alive now as he faces the challenges of being a world leader. 

This got me thinking about poetry and manifestation. When Martin Luther King proclaimed, “I have a dream”, that dream planted seeds of hope which led to greater social justice. We elected Obama to bring vision back to America, to dream big and to see us into a new paradigm. We elected him because he was and is poetic.

Six years ago, my husband Bo and I met in a poem. Not literally (I’m being poetic), but in feeling. He and I claim that we manifested one another.  When we met we weren’t imagining romance.  We were going through our own struggles and brokenness. We were happily pen pals and art buddies. Then one evening, during a visit to Maine, we were walking along Scarborough Beach, in Prouts Neck, and under a starlit sky we said, “I wish we had a campfire.”  Then, we walked maybe fifty or so yards, and stumbled upon a glowing ember, not in a fire pit, not around charred wood, but in the sand, alone.  After some amazement, one of us fanned it and the other gathered twigs, then driftwood. We brought to life the most amazing campfire and as we sat, we stacked stones to encircle it, saying very little.  An ember leaped out of the fire and burned a hole in Bo’s shirt directly over his heart.

I think life is like that. We have to have the vision to see, and the bravery to pursue the fire on the horizon. That is the poetry. Then we have to fan it, tend it, and nurture it until it takes itself ablaze, that is the prose.

If we maintain clarity and honor our temperament, our character will show us the way toward manifestation.

Scientists have recently discovered that the wave-particle duality holds true not just in the invisible world, but in the visible as well. So what if everything we see has the potential to be this, that or other? We are the consciousness of the earth and have infinite capacity. As artists, we are the torchbearers for meaning and myth beyond the obvious. It’s our job to live beyond groupthink and make manifest the poetry in all things.

A couple of years ago Bo and I were driving cross-country and came across a bumper sticker that read “Want to anger a liberal? Be successful and happy!” So I grabbed a pen and paper, and from the window of our Mercedes station wagon, I held a sign that read: HAPPY LIBERALS with a big smiley face and laughed and waved. The crotchety guy behind the wheel burst open with laughter and smiles. In that moment we acknowledged one another beyond the barriers of self and other. We shared a moment of poetry.

Each of us can change the world if we honor doing what brings us joy. And usually, the thing that gives us the most joy is giving, giving of our talent, our skills, and our heart. Align yourself with those who bring out the best in your temperament and follow the invisible thread that pulls you to the fire in the distant horizon.

It’s our job to change the world one smile at a time.

Spring 2010

David Whyte interview
• Venice Classical Radio
• Beethoven, Piano Sonata in E-flat major "Quasi una fantasia", Op. 27 No. 1, composed in 1800–1801