Consolations

The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

David Whyte

The ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, th privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another.
Consolations by David Whyte (Hardback ISBN 9781786897633) book cover

Available as Hardback, eBook

David Whyte explores the underlying meaning of 52 ordinary words, with an introduction by Maria Popova of Brain Pickings

In Consolations David Whyte unpacks aspects of being human that many of us spend our lives trying vainly to avoid – loss, heartbreak, vulnerability, fear – boldly reinterpreting them, fully embracing their complexity, never shying away from paradox in his relentless search for meaning.

Beginning with ‘Alone’ and closing with ‘Withdrawal’, each piece in this life-affirming book is a meditation on meaning and context, an invitation to shift and broaden our perspectives on life: pain and joy, honesty and anger, confession and vulnerability, the experience of feeling overwhelmed and the desire to run away from it all. Through this lens, procrastination may be a necessary ripening; hiding an act of freedom; and shyness something that accompanies the first stage of revelation.

Consolations invites readers into a poetic and thoughtful consideration of words whose meaning and interpretation influence the paths we choose and the way we traverse them throughout our lives.


“Keep this book by your bedside forever. I know I will”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Author Of Eat Pray Love

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Consolations, it bears repeating, is an absolutely magnificent read — the kind that reorients your world and remains a compass for a lifetime”
Maria Popova

“We think we know what we are talking about, the meaning of things, the basic rules of language, until we read David Whyte’s Consolations where we are forced to reassess everything and begin again. Such an essential and beautiful book’”
Nick Cave

“A word can know you better than you know yourself and I did not fully understand this until I read Consolations. It is an immensely powerful book. It is an extraordinary book … You will want to keep it forever”
Lemn Sissay


David Whyte

Internationally acclaimed poet David Whyte makes his home in the Pacific Northwest, where rain and changeable skies remind him of the other, more distant homes from which he comes: Yorkshire, Wales and Ireland. He holds a degree in Marine Zoology and honorary degrees from Neumann University in Pennsylvania and Royal Roads University in Victoria, British Columbia. He is the author of eight volumes of poetry and four books of prose, as well as a collection of audio recordings.