Ep 5. Basho: It’s ok to fail at mindfulness

If the proliferation of posters, t-shirts, mugs and grocery bags urging you towards ‘mindfulness’ is starting to grate, 17th century haiku master Basho has your back in today’s episode.

Read Jane Hirshfield’s beautiful translation or check out the Japanese version (which I stuffed up by pronouncing the first character ‘Kyoto’ instead of ‘Kyo’…here’s a Japanese cuckoo to make up for that).

Ep 4. Cristina Haraba on Eminescu: Bohemian? Conservative? Buddhist?

At first, Romania’s national poet Mihai Eminescu seems like your standard tragic Romantic poet. But as Cristina Haraba explains, he’s much actually much more human than that.

Read today’s poem With life’s tomorrow time you grasp and find out more about its translator Corneliu M. Popescu and the Popescu Prize.


Ep 3. Jane Kenyon: Happiness is a sly dog

Happiness was part of my life for years before I took the time to understand the poet who wrote it. Now it’s an even closer friend.

Definitely read the non-mangled text of The Clothes Pin, then make some tea and read Donald Hall’s essay on life with Jane, The Third Thing.


Ep 2. Sonya Tsakalakis: The courage of Charlotte Mew

This week I had the pleasure of chatting with Melbourne-based bibliotherapist Sonya Tsakalakis about Charlotte Mew’s poem The Call.

Describing Mew’s life as ‘tragic’ doesn’t quite cover it. She lost family members to physical and mental illness, struggled against Victorian values as an all but closeted lesbian, and ended her life alone. Yet this poem is anything but tragic – it’s stirring and strangely timeless.