Analysis Of David Whyte's "Sweet Darkness" Moorpark/English Essay

1457 words - 6 pages

The Inner Mind
David Whyte is an English poet who was born in Yorkshire, England and majored in marine zoology from Bangor University. He credits his interest in poetry to the songs and poetry of his mother’s Irish heritage as well as the all of the landscape of West Yorkshire. During his twenties, Whyte lived in the Galapagos Islands and nearly drowned at the shore of Hood Island. Later on in his life, he began speaking and lecturing about the role of creativity in business. Topics that revolve around the idea of belonging and work are the subject of several of his books and specifically, his poem “Sweet Darkness” which was written in the 1990’s. This poem focuses on exploring the “darkness” that is, in a sense, one’s own mind. He explains that if someone or something is not helpful or beneficial to achieving one’s goals for their life, it is okay to let them go. He wants us to know that we are in control of our own lives and that the world is not like a jail. Whyte’s unique use of imagery, the poem’s message and my own personal experiences that allow me to relate to the poem all come together to convey the idea that people should do whatever they feel necessary in order to get to where they want to be.
In his poem, Whyte uses simple yet brilliant words in order for the reader to really vividly picture what he is trying to say. He is explaining to the reader that when they are tired of the world around them and are no longer appreciating the view as they once did, it is “time to go into the dark/ where the night has eyes/ to recognize its own” (lines 5-7). Society often views the darkness as scary and a concept to be feared while viewing light in a positive way. Whyte however, is changing that mindset that people have and is using the dark from a more optimistic viewpoint, saying it is necessary for one to go into. In this poem, he challenges the way society views the darkness and shows that it is does not have to be scary. Once our eyes adjust to the dark, we are able to see again from a new perspective and that is the point he is trying to make. The darkness is, in a way, the neglected thoughts of one’s own mind that are pushed aside because it is simply easier to not acknowledge them. He reassures us as the reader that “the dark will be your womb tonight” (line 10). The idea here is to not fear the dark, but to accept it and live in it for just one night allowing for some self-reflection. The womb is viewed as a safe place, it is where babies are protected as they are developing and there is nothing to fear in there. Whyte is reminding us that we do not need to fear it because it actually a place that is out of harm’s way. People often put off going into “the dark” and truly evaluating the people and things in their life because they do not want to come to terms with the fact that it may be better to no longer keep some of them around. Whyte is using this contrasting imagery between the dark and the womb to show that the way we are taught...

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