“Finisterre”

Monday, December 12, 2016 - 1:18 pm

“Finisterre”

The road in the end taking the path the sun had taken,
 into the western sea, and the moon rising behind you
 as you stood where ground turned to ocean: no way
 to your future now but the way your shadow could take,
 walking before you across water, going where shadows go,
 no way to make sense of a world that wouldn't let you pass
 except to call an end to the way you had come,
 to take out each frayed letter you had brought
 and light their illumined corners; and to read
 them as they drifted on the western light;
 to empty your bags; to sort this and to leave that;
 to promise what you needed to promise all along,
 and to abandon the shoes that had brought you here
 right at the water's edge, not because you had given up
 but because now, you would find a different way to tread,
 and because, through it all, part of you would still walk on,
 no matter how, over the waves.

This poem is excerpted with permission from Pilgrim by David Whyte. For more poetry, visit our Poetry Radio Project.

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is an Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. His books include The Heart Aroused: Poetry and the Preservation of the Soul in Corporate America, River Flow: New & Selected Poems, and Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment, and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

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