Monday, January 07, 2008

John O'Donohue: like a river flows

Very sad to hear today that the poet, writer and mystic John O'Donohue died last week. Gail and I heard him at Greenbelt last summer and loved what we heard. I've been working with John's collection of poems 'Conamara Blues' since then. This is a favourite of mine, the short poem 'Fluent':

I would love to live / Like a river flows / Carried by the surprise / Of its own unfolding.

I remember John telling a story about a dying man at whose bedside he had been. The man said, to John's delight, that he had taken a great big bite out of life. No doubt John O'Donohue did the same. Here's a link to Gareth Higgins piece about him on the Greenbelt website. And here's a blessing from John's poem 'A Burren Prayer'. May this be yours John...

Go maire na mairbh argus a mbriongloidi / I bhfoscadh chaoin dilis na Trinoide [May the departed and their dreams ever dwell / In the kind and faithful shelter of the Trinity]

4 comments:

andrea said...

Really sad to hear the news of John O'Donohue's sudden death. His poetry has been a great inspiration to me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting the John O'Donohue short poem Fluent. I had heard someone read this poem on CBC radio on July 10, 2005, while I was driving. I was so taken by the power of the words that I pulled over and immediately wrote it down, but was unable to hear the attribution of the poem. You have now solved the mystery! // Ranald

Anette Zielinski said...

Thank you for your blog. I had no idea John O Donohue died and it's December 20th, 2008. I woke up this morning with his poem in my head and I couldn't remember how it ended or who said it so i googled it and ended up with your blog. I'm so grateful. He was an amazing man. I read a couple of his books and was fortunate enough to see him speak twice. He touched my soul.

Anette Zielinski said...

Thank you for your blog. I had no idea John O' Donohue died and it's December 20th, 2008. I woke up this morning with his poem in my head and I couldn't remember how it ended or who said it so i googled it and ended up with your blog. I'm so grateful. He was an amazing man. I read a couple of his books and was fortunate enough to see him speak twice. He touched my soul.