I’ve been following David Whyte for several years now and I really love his insights, his deep humbleness and his rich poetry. I just received this email update and had to share it from his words. He shares how he prepared for his talk, how he managed the timeline and all the requirements needed to pull off a TedTalk.
Just walking into the cauldron of expectation on the main stage at the TED conference in Vancouver earlier this year as the very last speaker of the very last evening, was the culmination of many months of review, process, examination, and micro management of my speech that is not really fitted to my extemporaneous approach to the artform of melding poetry with insight. I had decided however, that it might be good for me, kept all my best thoughts to myself and duly laid the talk out completely in my mind, almost to the last sentence.
There is no changing the beast at its heart though, and once on stage at that frontier of listening and speaking, and in sight of the far, untrammeled and un-coercible horizon that the poetry opens, I found myself in the usual conversation with the unknown, the unspeakable and the unmanageable. As you can imagine, they had to forgive me for going a little over, something that needs a Papal dispensation at TED, but here it is, a moment in time and out of time, given to a listening crowd that contained some of the most discerning, intelligent, imaginative minds on the planet and who had just been listening to the thoughts of the Pope, Elon Musk and Al Gore. My Thanks to Juliet Blake for her invitation and her careful nursing of my unruly artistic temperament through the entire drama.