[Unedited] Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows with Krista Tippett


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A new translation of Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet has been released in a world in which his voice and vision feel as resonant as ever before. In ten letters to a young person in 1903, Rilke touched on the enduring dramas of creating our lives — prophetic musings about solitude and relationship, humanity and the natural world, even gender and human wholeness. And what a joy it is to delve into Rilke’s voice, freshly rendered, with the translators. Krista, Anita and Joanna have communed with Rainer Maria Rilke across time and space and their conversation is infused with friendship as much as ideas.

Joanna Macy is a philosopher of ecology and Buddhist teacher, and the root teacher of The Work That Reconnects. She’s the author of many books. Our previous On Being episode with her is “A Wild Love for the World.” That’s also the title of a lovely book of homage to her published in 2020.

Anita Barrows has translated three books of Rilke’s writing with Joanna, in addition to Letters to a Young Poet: Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God; In Praise of Mortality; and A Year with Rilke. Anita is a psychologist and poet. She was a voice in the On Being episode, “The Soul in Depression.” Her most recent poetry collection is Testimony.

This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows — ‘What a world you’ve got inside you.’" Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.

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