The Poetry Radio Project

The Poetry Radio Project

The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi

The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi
Presents the texts and readings of the Sufi mystic's poems in Persian and in English, with male and female voices.

» "Song of the Reed"
» "The Promise"
» "A Great Wagon"
» "Like This"
» "On God"
» "On Language"
» "On the World"
» "On Love"

Love After Love

Opening to Our Lives
Hear Derek Walcott's poem recited by Jon Kabat-Zinn, who said that a prose statement was "bound to be inadequate" in communicating his point.

»"Love After Love"

Revealing Ramadan

Revealing Ramadan
Poetry was Adnan Onart's response to our invitation for expressions of Muslim identity. He first submitted "Morning Prayer" — which he wrote as he was coming out of a deep depression.

» "Ramadan in Dunkin Donuts
» "Ribbon Time: The Moment"
» "Al Miraj"
» "Morning Prayer"

Fragility and the Evolution of Our Humanity — A Geophysicist's View

Fragility and the Evolution of Our Humanity — A Geophysicist's View
Xavier Le Pichon describes how his mother taught him a version of this lovely Sully Prudhomme poem. Read our commissioned English translation, and listen to a Québécois poet to recite the poem in French and English.

»"Le Vase Brisé / The Broken Vase"

What We Nurture

What We Nurture
Sylvia Boorstein always carries a poem by Pablo Neruda with her, no matter where she goes. She read it for us before a live audience in suburban Detroit.

»"Keeping Quiet" by Pablo Neruda

Repossessing Virtue: Living Differently, Beyond Economic Crisis

Repossessing Virtue: Living Differently, Beyond Economic Crisis
One of the voices in this episode mentioned this Wendell Berry poem as one of her favorites. Listen to Krista recitation and read the text.

»"The Peace of Wild Things"

Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves

Suicide, and Hope for Our Future Selves
Jennifer Michael Hecht's compelling poetry in the face of suicide makes the case to "stay."

»"Men Wept"
»"No Hemlock Rock"

Alzheimer's, Memory, and Being

Alzheimer's, and the Spiritual Terrain of Memory
The poet Sean Nevin has led writing groups with Alzheimer's patients and lived through his own grandfather's struggle with this disease.

»"Oblivio Gate"
» "Self-Portraits from the Widow House"

Laying the Dead to Rest

Laying the Dead to Rest
The Argentine poet Alicia Partnoy recites her verse. And a poem by Chilean poet Marjorie Agosin — in English and Spanish.

»"A Homespun Love"
»"How many times …"

The Soul in Depression

The Soul in Depression
Features poetry for reflection, help, and healing from Rainer Marie Rilke, Anita Barrows, Jane Kenyon, and the Book of Psalms.

» "Back" by Jane Kenyon
» "Questo muro" and "Heart Work" by Anita Barrows

A History of Doubt

A History of Doubt
Includes the poetry of guest Jennifer Michael Hecht.

» "No, I Would Not Leave You If You Suddenly Found God"
» "History"

SoundSeen (our multimedia stories)

Children of the Disappeared

Children of the Disappeared (Video)

The legacy of Argentina's Dirty War lives on in the children of those who disappeared. We pair their portraits with the poetry of Alicia Partnoy, a survivor from that time and place.


Beannacht (Slideshow)

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

About the Project

Poetry, David Whyte says, is language against which we have no defense. We inhabit a moment in which defended language is practically all we know, and so we are re-learning our basic human need of poetry to flourish. Many of our wise guests spontaneously bring a poem into their reflections on mystery and meaning in life. Take pleasure in this compilation of poems — from Mary Oliver to Wendell Berry, from John O'Donohue to Rumi to Pablo Neruda and many many more. Listen. Read. Watch. Enjoy.

Poetry on the Blog

by William Blake

by Yahia Lababidi

r e t u r n i n g s
by Pádraig Ó Tuama

by Rabindranath Tagore

Grand Canyon
by Parker Palmer

by Mary Oliver

by Willow Harth

Rembrandt's Late
by Elizabeth Jennings

To Be of Use
by Marge Piercy

Thanks, Robert
by David Ray

If a Prayer
Would Do It
by Stephen Levine

Some Kiss
We Want
by Rumi

Tired of Speaking
by Hafiz

Dirge Without
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

by Mary Oliver

Surgical Ward
by W.H. Auden

The Way It Is
by William Stafford

Questions Before
by Jeanne Lohmann

We look with
by Anne Hillman

The Buddha's
Last Instruction
by Mary Oliver

The Winter of
by David Whyte

The Wild Geese
by Wendell Berry

I Died as a
by Rumi

by Mary Oliver

by Ron Wallace

by Billy Collins

by W.S. Merwin

by Rainer Maria Rilke

The Low Road
by Marge Piercy

On Turning Ten
by Billy Collins

by Mary Oliver

by David Wagoner

The Place Where
We Are Right
by Yehuda Amichai

by Julie Cadwallader-Staub

The Layers
by Stanley Kunitz

You Reading
This, Be Ready
by William Stafford

The Angels and
the Furies
by May Sarton

In Blackwater
by Mary Oliver

Why Should I
Ever Be Sad?
by Parker Palmer

The Guest
by Rumi

Camas Lilies
by Lynn Ungar

by A.E. Lefton

The Poem I Would
Have Writ
by Parker Palmer

The Trip
by Jeanie Greensfelder

The Almanac of
Last Things
by Linda Pastan

The Clearing
by Jena Schwartz

Aver, Aver
by Francie Monk