To some, Rumi's poetry is best heard aloud; to others, Rumi's words should be experienced in silent reading. Here, we present the text of seven poems and readings of those poems in Persian and in English, with male and female voices.
Since many of O'Donohue's recitations didn't make it into the final, produced show, we wanted to offer them for download.
by Sully Prudhomme
Le Pichon describes how his mother taught him a version of this lovely poem. So, we commissioned a new English translation for you, and asked a Québécois poet to recite the poem in French and English. Listen along, and compare to Le Pichon's memorized version.
In his essay, Le Pichon explores some of the observations he's made in anthropological and historical perspective, and reflects on the radical advance in human self-understanding in what we call the Axial Age. Read the text or download a PDF!
In this poem Rilke is using images from the natural world, Ms. Macy says, to convey that mystery, beauty, and relationship in the sacred. Listen to her recitation and deeper explanation of this lyrical piece.
For Ms. Joanna Macy, this poem exemplifies a way she could continue on a spiritual path while having misgivings about the Church fathers and arcane theological arguments.
While mourning the death of her husband, Joanna Macy felt like she was "dipped in beauty" while translating A Year with Rilke. Here's a passage from a letter the poet wrote to Countess Margot Sizzo-Noris-Crouty in 1924 in which she took comfort in her own grief and loss.
Rilke in many of his early poems is "consoling God" says Joanna Macy. And, for her, this poem tells her that "it's okay not to be optimistic or full of hope," but that the main thing is to show up and be present.
From his last "Sonnet to Orpheus," Joanna Macy tells us that Rilke has chosen to be with the darkness rather than hide from it. And she shares how she finds resonance with our relationship to our planet.
In her book A Year with Rilke, Joanna Macy chose one poem by Rilke for each day of the year. We interviewed her on July 13th, for which this poem "about death and how not to be afraid of death" was selected. A marvelous reading with a humorous anecdote about her deceased husband at the end.