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On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.
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"I'm a happy woman" thanks to conservation agriculture in Malawi

Happy Earth Day y’all. Here’s Wendell Berry reading "The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer" for our podcast production of "The Poetry of Creatures." Share and reblog with your friends!

I am done with apologies. If contrariness is my
inheritance and destiny, so be it. If it is my mission
to go in at exits and come out at entrances, so be it.
I have planted by the stars in defiance of the experts,
and tilled somewhat by incantation and by singing,
and reaped, as I knew, by luck and Heaven’s favor,
in spite of the best advice. If I have been caught
so often laughing at funerals, that was because
I knew the dead were already slipping away,
preparing a comeback, and can I help it?
And if at weddings I have gritted and gnashed
my teeth, it was because I knew where the bridegroom
had sunk his manhood, and knew it would not
be resurrected by a piece of cake. ‘Dance,’ they told me,
and I stood still, and while they stood
quiet in line at the gate of the Kingdom, I danced.
‘Pray,’ they said, and I laughed, covering myself
in the earth’s brightnesses, and then stole off gray
into the midst of a revel, and prayed like an orphan.
When they said, ‘I know my Redeemer liveth,’
I told them, ‘He’s dead.’ And when they told me
‘God is dead,’ I answered, ‘He goes fishing ever day
in the Kentucky River. I see Him often.’
When they asked me would I like to contribute
I said no, and when they had collected
more than they needed, I gave them as much as I had.
When they asked me to join them I wouldn’t,
and then went off by myself and did more
than they would have asked. ‘Well, then,’ they said
‘go and organize the International Brotherhood
of Contraries,’ and I said, ‘Did you finish killing
everybody who was against peace?’ So be it.
Going against men, I have heard at times a deep harmony
thrumming in the mixture, and when they ask me what
I say I don’t know. It is not the only or the easiest
way to come to the truth. It is one way.

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Crow’s Word

The Crow

You’re likely to outlive some of your greatest joys. Don’t let that be the only period in your life when you become highly aware of them. Notice joy now and it will help you become a person of peace, integrity, and strength when there is less joy in your life.

Crow’s Word
His note, dawn’s foil —
One blow to fill her pale blue bell with sound,
One impulse to deliver; that serves to sever bonds
Of all things that entangle, sully, soil.

This is the Word that blasts the sap,
The sound of force
That lifts the arms of trees;
That fashions-forth the branches from within
To raise this world of darkwood iron all around;
This the rising sound
Of the very juice by which the ground toils,
Becomes each massive trunk and slender tendril coil
Upright, upreared, at prayer.

Bright above, the morning sky awakens,
She blues and beckons like a mother’s eye toward which
The sun climbs, wings beat a path, while feet
With new-found ease
Like light along the spangled grass self-hurl,
Fast follow down that one windfall trail
Being blazed toward Canaan by what lives.

Let this day go gray, grow disenchanted:
I know the crow.

Text and poem excerpted from “On Being More Than Ourselves Alone.” Read more of Paul Martin’s complete essay.

Tagged: #poetry #joy #living
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On Saturday, Krista Tippett interviewed New York poet laureate Marie Howe in the beautiful old library at the College of Saint Benedict under the watchful eyes of the Virgin Mary (Salve Regina). Can’t wait to produce this show for On Being.
Photo by Trent Gilliss
On Saturday, Krista Tippett interviewed New York poet laureate Marie Howe in the beautiful old library at the College of Saint Benedict under the watchful eyes of the Virgin Mary (Salve Regina). Can’t wait to produce this show for On Being.
Photo by Trent Gilliss

On Saturday, Krista Tippett interviewed New York poet laureate Marie Howe in the beautiful old library at the College of Saint Benedict under the watchful eyes of the Virgin Mary (Salve Regina). Can’t wait to produce this show for On Being.

Photo by Trent Gilliss

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From our senior editor Trent Gilliss:

“A poet is the ‘Amen’ before the utterance of prayer.” ~Dominique Ashaheed from Denver, Colorado
What a magnificent, strong figure, and a lyrical voice to boot. I only wish I could’ve made it to the Women of the World Poetry Slam finals this past week!
(Big thanks to City Pages for the layout.)
From our senior editor Trent Gilliss:

“A poet is the ‘Amen’ before the utterance of prayer.” ~Dominique Ashaheed from Denver, Colorado
What a magnificent, strong figure, and a lyrical voice to boot. I only wish I could’ve made it to the Women of the World Poetry Slam finals this past week!
(Big thanks to City Pages for the layout.)

From our senior editor Trent Gilliss:

“A poet is the ‘Amen’ before the utterance of prayer.”
~Dominique Ashaheed from Denver, Colorado

What a magnificent, strong figure, and a lyrical voice to boot. I only wish I could’ve made it to the Women of the World Poetry Slam finals this past week!

(Big thanks to City Pages for the layout.)

Comments
Here dies another day
During which I have had eyes, ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?
-

G. K. Chesterton,”Evening”

(via dailymarvelous)

Comments
Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else’s suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others.
-

Mary Karr from her 2010 interview with Judy Valente on PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

(via trentgilliss)

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There is something very comforting about ritual. I have friends who go to church or sit at the Zen center. I respect that. The ritual of writing fills that need for me. Writing has been a kind of spiritual devotion for me. Listening to language, feeling stories unfold and poems arrive, being present to the page – I do not think of it as a career, I think of it as a devotion. That is a big difference to me.
-

Naomi Shihab Nye, from her interview with Kim Rosen in Spirituality & Health magazine in which she talks about the writing life, ecumenism, and the virtue of kindness.

(h/t DailyGood)

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trentgilliss:

It’s hard for a client not to fall in love with Pentagram when I receive this magnificent chapbook of cowboy poetry. Giddy-up!

Boy, does this give us ideas for our own work!
trentgilliss:

It’s hard for a client not to fall in love with Pentagram when I receive this magnificent chapbook of cowboy poetry. Giddy-up!

Boy, does this give us ideas for our own work!

trentgilliss:

It’s hard for a client not to fall in love with Pentagram when I receive this magnificent chapbook of cowboy poetry. Giddy-up!

Boy, does this give us ideas for our own work!

Comments
Anonymous asked:
What is the music played behind Tom Wait's poetry reading recently posted? Thank you. Jeanne Cronin, Cambridge MA

imagePretty fabulous, isn’t it Jeane!

The music bedding Waits’ reading of Charles Bukowski’s poem “Nirvana” wasn’t pulled from another song or artist. It’s actually part of a track on Waits’ 2006 album Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.

Tagged: #poetry #music
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trentgilliss:

Tom Waits reads Charles Bukowski. Nirvana. A pairing of the gods.

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trentgilliss:

Considering ways we could make chapbooks like this one from Graywolf Press for On Being. We receive so many pieces of lyrical work from people and this digestible, elegant format would be perfect. William Drenttel, call me?
trentgilliss:

Considering ways we could make chapbooks like this one from Graywolf Press for On Being. We receive so many pieces of lyrical work from people and this digestible, elegant format would be perfect. William Drenttel, call me?

trentgilliss:

Considering ways we could make chapbooks like this one from Graywolf Press for On Being. We receive so many pieces of lyrical work from people and this digestible, elegant format would be perfect. William Drenttel, call me?

Comments
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The election is over, and it seems like now is as good occasion as ever to turn to poetry. Non? Who better to turn to than Elizabeth Alexander, the poet who wrote and delivered "Praise Song for the Day" at President Obama’s inauguration.

She sees poetry as providing the language that elevates and emboldens rather than demeans and alienates. And, despite these times when more and more of the world requires hard data and the certainty of facts, Ms. Alexander tells us what poetry works in us — and in our children — and why it may become more relevant, not less so, in hard and complicated times.

Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments

Uncertainty, when accepted, sheds a bright light on the power of intention. That is what you can count on: not the outcome, but the motivation you bring, the vision you hold, the compass setting you choose to follow.

Our intention and our resolve can save us from getting lost in grief. … When we open our eyes to what is happening, even when it breaks our hearts, we discover our true dimensions, for our heart, when it breaks open, can hold the whole universe. We discover how speaking the truth of our anguish for the world brings down the walls between us, drawing us into deep solidarity. And that solidarity with our neighbors and all that lives is all the more real for the uncertainty we face. When we stop distracting ourselves, trying to figure the chances of ultimate success or failure, our minds and hearts are liberated into the present moment. And this moment together is alive and charged with possibilities.

-

Joanna Macy, from her Tricycle essay “The Greatest Danger”

One of the shows I’m proudest of pitching, producing, and getting played on national public radio is this interview Krista Tippett did with Ms. Macy. Her name had come up anecdotally years before for a show on “the soul in depression” when Krista interviewed poet Anita Barrows.

When one hears a phrase like “The Great Turning” in a pitch session, veteran journalists may shy away (or run) from it. It’s somewhat difficult to make concrete and can sound rather soft and puffy. To some degree, this is true. But, my task was to acknowledge this response from our executive producer and staff — and then describe it, explain it more plainly, and make sure all knew why her voice is different. And then emphasize its importance and her wisdom as an elder this world needs to hear from ever so much.

Comments

trentgilliss:

I think Lawrence Joseph just awakened me. No coffee needed. How about these lines from “So Where are We?”:

Ten blocks away is the Church of the Transfiguration,
in the back is a Byzantine Madonna –

there is a God, a God who fits the drama
in a very particular sense. What you said –

the memory of a memory of a remembered
memory, the color of a memory, violet and black.

Tagged: #poetry
Comments
From trentgilliss:

Now isn’t this fascinating! We’re all well acquainted with the only photo of Emily Dickinson known to exist, the daguerreotype of her as a 16-year-old girl taken in 1847 (right).
Now, it appears a second daguerreotype of the reclusive poet has made its way to Amherst College by way of a dedicated collector. But this one, taken in 1859, shows her in a different light as a young woman in her mid-20s sitting with a friend, Kate Scott Turner:

“If the daguerreotype is eventually accepted as Dickinson, it will change our idea of her, providing a view of the poet as a mature woman showing striking presence, strength, and serenity. She (whoever she is) seems to be the one in charge here, the one who decided that on a certain day in a certain year, she and her friend would have their likenesses preserved. In fact, even if this photograph is not of Dickinson and Turner, it has still been of use in forcing us to imagine Dickinson as an adult, past the age of the ethereal-looking 16-year-old we have known for so many years.”

The Guardian reports on the extent to which the daguerreotype has been analyzed, right down to the “corneal curvature” and the “hair cowlick.” Don’t you just love a mystery? Here’s your chance to be the verifying link.
From trentgilliss:

Now isn’t this fascinating! We’re all well acquainted with the only photo of Emily Dickinson known to exist, the daguerreotype of her as a 16-year-old girl taken in 1847 (right).
Now, it appears a second daguerreotype of the reclusive poet has made its way to Amherst College by way of a dedicated collector. But this one, taken in 1859, shows her in a different light as a young woman in her mid-20s sitting with a friend, Kate Scott Turner:

“If the daguerreotype is eventually accepted as Dickinson, it will change our idea of her, providing a view of the poet as a mature woman showing striking presence, strength, and serenity. She (whoever she is) seems to be the one in charge here, the one who decided that on a certain day in a certain year, she and her friend would have their likenesses preserved. In fact, even if this photograph is not of Dickinson and Turner, it has still been of use in forcing us to imagine Dickinson as an adult, past the age of the ethereal-looking 16-year-old we have known for so many years.”

The Guardian reports on the extent to which the daguerreotype has been analyzed, right down to the “corneal curvature” and the “hair cowlick.” Don’t you just love a mystery? Here’s your chance to be the verifying link.

From trentgilliss:

Now isn’t this fascinating! Emily DickinsonWe’re all well acquainted with the only photo of Emily Dickinson known to exist, the daguerreotype of her as a 16-year-old girl taken in 1847 (right).

Now, it appears a second daguerreotype of the reclusive poet has made its way to Amherst College by way of a dedicated collector. But this one, taken in 1859, shows her in a different light as a young woman in her mid-20s sitting with a friend, Kate Scott Turner:

“If the daguerreotype is eventually accepted as Dickinson, it will change our idea of her, providing a view of the poet as a mature woman showing striking presence, strength, and serenity. She (whoever she is) seems to be the one in charge here, the one who decided that on a certain day in a certain year, she and her friend would have their likenesses preserved. In fact, even if this photograph is not of Dickinson and Turner, it has still been of use in forcing us to imagine Dickinson as an adult, past the age of the ethereal-looking 16-year-old we have known for so many years.”

The Guardian reports on the extent to which the daguerreotype has been analyzed, right down to the “corneal curvature” and the “hair cowlick.” Don’t you just love a mystery? Here’s your chance to be the verifying link.

Comments