Friday, March 07, 2008

John O'Donohue

Goldilocks forsythia

Last Sunday morning while cooking a great breakfast I listened to the NPR show "Speaking of Faith". Krisa Tippett was interviewing John O'Donohue, an Irish poet who passed away last December. I was so moved by hearing him recite his poetry I decided to post one here for Friday Poetry. Please follow these links to see lovely photos of green, green Ireland and hear him read his poem "Beannacht", a blessing he wrote for his mother after his father's death.

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you. the rest here.

"John O'Donohue was an Irish poet and philosopher beloved for his book Anam Cara — Gaelic for "soul friend" — and for his insistence on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God."

Transcript of the interview with Krista Tippett on

Here is a Slideshow of him speaking the poem "Beannacht" with photos of him in Ireland.

The Poetry Friday Round-up is at The Simple and the Ordinary.


Sara said...

I get the Speaking of Faith email newsletter delivered to me, and I saw this and almost posted about him. I'm so glad you did. I think SOF is amazing in its range and respect and thoughtfulness about matters of faith.

tanita✿davis said...

I couldn't get the link to work to read the poem, and it's just as well. I listened to it, and oh, it was lovely and beautiful and (oddly) made me feel loved.

Annie said...

Love, sadness, very Irish and so beautiful. Not only is his poem beautiful, but his reading of the poem is full of love. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't get the link to work either, but I'm so intrigued. I'll have to go listen to it. Thanks for introducing us to O'Donohue!

jama said...

Love the poem and his voice! As Tadmack said, it made me feel loved and safe to be wrapped in those warm words. Thanks so much.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

OK now I fixed the link. Thanks for telling me! Isn't his voice just lovely and dear?

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life."


Anonymous said...

That is one lovely poem. All the references to color help me imagine the way it must have jumped out of the radio and grabbed you as a photographer, too. Your photos always make me want to rub my eyes and look a little more closely at the world around me.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody feel like there are just angels spreading uplift through Poetry Friday today?

christine M said...

I was going to say "How poetic" - but it is a poem after all. That kind of goes with the territory. Great post!

MHN said...

What a lovely poem. I felt the invisible cloak...

And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

Mary Lee said...

I will pass this blessing along to my mother.

laurasalas said...

This is stunning. Thanks for sharing, Andi.