(photo: Nuton)


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Selected Poems

John O'Donohue's Poems Recited by the Poet Himself

Since many of O'Donohue's recitations didn't make it into the final, produced show, we wanted to offer them for download.

SoundSeen (our multimedia stories)


We've woven together the late Irish poet's reading of his poem with his friends' photographs of the Celtic landscapes of the Connemara landscape he loved.

Pertinent Posts from the On Being Blog


Researching music, we discovered sean-nos, an "old style" of Gaelic singing. Watch this mesmerizing video of Iarla Ó Lionáird singing in a pub.


Krista reflects on her Irish respite and the words of John O'Donohue on beauty as "a kind of homecoming…"

An Irish listener from Belfast contributes to our musical selections.


Producing a narrated slideshow takes a fair bit of time, even it's brief. Our producer traces her journey and the small world we travel in.


O'Donohue's insight inspires the question: how do you express your inner gifts through your work?

About the Image

John O'Donohue walks in the countryside near his boyhood home of Connemara, Ireland.

(photo: Nuton)

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As the granddaughter of Irish immigrants, I've long loved the prose and poetry of John O'Donohue, and felt as if his placing of words, like the careful stacking of ancient stones in the walls his father built, were so familiar because of some shared Celtic DNA. But hearing his voice during Krista's interview was almost more than I could bear. It felt like home. It sounded like the echoes of a sea I've never tasted, but long for. Thank you Krista. Your questions were lovely, your gentle probing perfect for a conversation with this deeply spiritual visionary thinker. I have listened to your interview (broadcast and un-cut) many times now and have visited each link, music selection, and back story...I feel so blessed by this program. Although I never miss On Being (or the formerly SoF), and each one is inspiring, this program was deeply sacred for me. Thank you.

Hearing O'Donohue speak so lovingly of the Western Irish Landscape threw me back in time to my own experience with that gorgeous and ethereal landscape. He spoke with such simplicity, and everything he said make perfect sense. I was saddened to hear that he has passed from this world, but am grateful he has left such a profound and poetic beauty behind in his works. Truly an inspiring and amazing poet.

This Irish poet was unknown to be before I met him here. This interview has blown me away; what a beautiful, wise, passionate man he was. Thank you for bringing him to your audience.
I am a fan of your interviews, they offer me a lot, most of all solace and a sense of kindred spirits.
Thank you.
Ria from Belgium

Had the good fortune to hear this unbelievably beautiful exchange of ideas and wisdom in a drive on Thanksgiving day, yesterday! Completely enthralled by the gorgeous, melodious sound of someone who knows so well his own inner promptings, and share with such ease a spiritual awareness we can only hope to obtain.

I love John's writing and documentary. I miss his presence with us. Has he any other books besides the wonderful "Anam Cara"? Is there another person like him anywhere where a similar way of seeing the world, the soul, life? Thanks you.

Robert, he definitely wrote more books! I recently saw that you can find most of them at www.johnodonohue.com in either print or audio. I personally love hearing him narrate the books more than reading them as he's such a wonderful speaker. Not sure if you will see this message, but if not, I hope you've at least tried looking him up at any online bookstore and found more of his writing to enjoy. I know what you mean about how unique his vision was. Thomas Merton was a very different person/writer, but he comes to mind as another refreshing person with depth and generosity of spirit. I think one could say he was sort of a kindred spirit. Also, as you probably know, John O'Donohue was greatly inspired by Meister Eckhart's old writings. I discovered those a few years before discovering John O'Donohue, and I can see that they, too, were kindred spirits, so to speak. Hopefully the book John was writing on him will eventually be published.

I love John O'Donohue Thank you for this and helping keep his beautiful spirit alive

John O'Donohue's poetry touches me like no other words have done. I resonate with his words, and, the sound of his deep, and loving voice.

I found this through a link had on Facebook. She had posted it as a memorial to John. Thank you Kirista for the beautiful interview. Hearing his beautiful voice speaking the wisdom of the ages was so moving and inspiring. I felt "lifted" after the interview was over and wanted to consciously move forward to help others do what they love; to use their gifts. It's so important to choose to make time to go to that quiet place within and revitalize our spirits so that we can be beauty in this world through our small acts of kindness and love. Remembering a soul of a beauty.......

Thank you for this broadcast. I'm just getting into listening to John O'Donohue on audio (complete collection on Audible) after discovering and exploring the teachings of his good friend, David Whyte. John O'Donohue is really giving life to my inner world. What a blessing to find the On Being recording amidst my other listening. Much appreciated!

Exquisite poetry by John O'Donohue....love listening to him......lovely interview.. Thanks.

I met John three times in three years ... once in Belfast - as he took part in a Saturday talk. It was just after lunch ...before he started his afternoon talk. I so wanted to say hello but didn't want to bother him. I sat on one of the seats towards the side of the small stage area. I was aware that someone was sitting just to my right ...thinking it was a friend of mine. I felt a hand resting on my shoulder and smiled and turned around...it was John O'Donohue .. he smiled ..and so did I ... he then got up to do his talk! I smile even now when I think of that ... so so special! :)


Voices on the Radio

O'Donohue was a poet and philosopher who wrote several books, including Anam Ċara and Conamara Blues. He died on January 4, 2008.

Production Credits

Host/Producer: Krista Tippett

Senior Editor: Trent Gilliss

Consulting Producer: Kate Moos

Associate Producer: Nancy Rosenbaum

Associate Producer: Shubha Bala

Technical Director/Producer: Chris Heagle

Associate Producer: Susan Leem