November 4, 2012

Rilke and a Wild Love for the World

From On Being (onbeing.org) - conversations about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas - is a Peabody and Webby-award-winning public radio program and podcast and an evolving media space. Initially launched as Speaking of Faith in 2003, the program takes up the great animating questions of human life: What does it mean to be human? And how do we want to live?

This week A Wild Love For the World is with Joanna Macy, a Buddhist philosopher of ecology and a translator of the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.

Now in her 80s, Macy has always been ahead of her time. She worked with the CIA in Cold War Europe and the Peace Corps in post-colonial India. She even took up environmental activism long before it became mainstream. Krista first interviewed Joanna Macy in 2010 after a man-made ecological disaster: the Gulf Oil Spill. Macy says we're now in a moment she calls "The Great Turning" — a transition from an industrial society to a society that's life-sustaining. Macy finds inspiration for this vision in Rilke's poetry; and she uses that poetry to find meaning in the great dramas of our time — ecological, political, and personal.

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For this week's show, Krista recommends reading: A Year with Rilke: Daily Readings from the Best of Rainer Maria Rilke as translated by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows.

(Browse pages from the book at harpercollins.com/browseinside/)

One of the most beloved poets of the twentieth century, Rilke is widely celebrated for his depth of insight and timeless relevance. He has influenced generations of writers with his classic Letters to a Young Poet, and his reflections on the divine and our place in the world are disarmingly profound.many readers find Rilke a trusted guide amid the bustle of our daily experience, reflecting on such themes as impermanence, the beauty of creation, the voice of God, and the importance of solitude.

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