Three people walk through foggy mountain pass holding lanternsArtwork by Ifada Nisa


Dear friends,

Emily Dickinson’s poem “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers” is one of her best-known and most loved poems. For her, in that poem, hope was a little bird, stalwart in a storm. It’s one of a few hope poems that she wrote through the course of her life. In another, she seems to think of hope being akin to a clockwork appendage to the heart, something that has an energy of its own, something that adds beauty to life. And in yet another of her hope poems, she speaks of hope as a bountiful table. Over the course of her life, it seems she needed to revisit the concept of hope again and again, in order to consider hope and what shape it was taking in language for her at the time.

This week’s On Being is the second episode in The Future of Hope series we’re excited about, that will be continuing across the next year. We’ve invited former guests on the show to bring to our air the conversations they’ve wanted to be hearing, and having. Krista describes this offering as a great honor to host in the On Being space:

Darnell Moore is one of my beloved conversation partners of recent years. He’s a social creative and force in the constellation of energies that is the Movement for Black Lives. I admire him as a writer and podcaster who deepens and humanizes every subject he picks up. He invited the extraordinary Detroit-based writer and filmmaker dream hampton into conversation. She is best known right now for co-producing the 2021 Oscars and for the culture-shifting documentary she executive produced, Surviving R. Kelly. Darnell wrote this to me about dream:“She is a sister/friend who I've organized alongside of, learned from, and have been inspired by for more than a decade. She is an astute and natural intellectual artist who is unafraid of challenging our ways of thinking and poses the right questions that might ultimately encourage us to be different in the world. She was the first person that I thought about when I began to think about hope and its limitations and possibilities an idea that deserves excavation.”

So, it is a privilege to enter this tender, intimate conversation between two dear friends. In them we experience a muscular hope in justice oriented toward redemption and calling out in a spirit of “calling in.”

For Poetry Unbound this week, we shared a conversation with Jake Skeets. Using both English and Diné, his poem “Daybreak” is a meditation on landscape, and what it means to not just see land as a place where humans dwell, but to — as far as possible — decenter humanity as the locus of experience and to simply observe. In a change for Poetry Unbound, it’s Jake himself who reads and reflects on his poem. Friday’s poem — “Smoke Screen” — is from No’u Revilla, who writes about her father, a worker in a sugar plantation in Hawai’i: the burdens he carried from that work; the infection of lungs of workers and their families; the way that the sugar industry affected the populations of Hawai’i. It’s a poem of power and poise, a poem that honors her father’s pride in his work, while also scrutinizing the work. We’ve released a bonus conversation between myself and No’u, too: a joyous conversation that explores the poem, as well as language, Indigenous culture, and power. Watch out for that in your podcast feed. 

Friends, as we continue to talk about how hope can shape us, and the many shapes of hope, we hold you in mind, hoping that your own hope can find the shapes it needs for work that sustains you and creates community. 


Beir bua, 

Pádraig Ó Tuama
host of Poetry Unbound



The Wisdom App In the World

The Wisdom app is a new adventure: curated learning; new teaching and reflections from Krista; guided contemplative exercises; and events with other members to build a community of accompaniment.

You can sample three sessions for free from the first course — Hope Is a Muscle — by downloading from the app store on your phone. Become an invested member to access the full content from this and future courses. You can do so directly in the app or through the On Being website, where you can also learn more about our Fair Pricing.
Read Krista’s note about why this project and why now.

This Week at The On Being Project

Our Latest Episode

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On Being with Krista Tippett
Darnell Moore and dream hampton
The Future of Hope 2

Two social creatives — and dear friends — on hope’s limitations and possibilities, restorative justice, and calling out in a spirit of “calling in.”

Listen on:
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Our Website


Poetry Unbound

Jake Skeets

In this poem and conversation, Jake Skeets considers ethical engagement with land: an engagement that sees land as itself, not just for its uses.

No’u Revilla
Smoke Screen

A man finds moments of privacy to recover from a job that asks too much, and gives little but pride in return. His daughter, a poet, watches.

Bonus Episode
A Conversation with No’u Revilla

Poet No‘u Revilla speaks about Hawaiian language, history, and culture, as well as the story behind her poem, “Smoke Screen.”

Listen on:
Apple Podcasts
Google Podcasts
Our Website


Read | To My Beloveds: Letters on Faith, Race, and Radical Hope by Rev. Jennifer Bailey

From Krista: When I interviewed the wonderful Rev. Jen Bailey (my “friend of a different generation”) in the summer, I mentioned that her first book was on its way. And now it is here. Her preternatural wisdom infuses these pages. It is a beautiful and nourishing offering to the young among us, the new generations of leaders and carers rising in this world of ours. But it is rooted in deep time and place and lineage, and a gift to us all.

In Case You Missed It

Reading Rilke: Four Writers’ Journey With Rilke

On October 10th, Pádraig Ó Tuama and American poet Laura Reece Hogan joined Australian writer Stephanie Dowrick for a conversation about Rilke’s poems, hosted by the award-winning Rilke translator, scholar, and poet Mark S. Burrows. Together, they read Rilke and probe what he called “words ripening in the silences.” Watch again here.


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