Poetry Unbound

Arts #25Books #8

Short and unhurried, Poetry Unbound is an immersive exploration of a single poem, hosted by Pádraig Ó Tuama. Pádraig Ó Tuama greets you at the doorways of brilliant poems, and invites you to meet them with stories of your world. The poems are eager to meet you, too.For season 8, we have poems about beasts (dung beetles, horses, eagles and ourselves as well); poems with tensions between parents and children; poems about kingdoms and memories of the dead. There is translation, culture, erotica, water, mortality, and morality.Already a listener? There’s also a book (Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World), a Substack newsletter with a vibrant conversation in the comments and occasional gatherings.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • SDhltnt
    I am a big fan of the way he explains the poets work and explains the poetry
    I am a big fan of the way he takes an art form that I love and go to when things seem a little pointless when he helps me see the totality and relates the thing being conveyed so I see better things I may never relate to that collection of ideas
  • space-dawg
    Growing up reading my parent’s Carl Sandburg poems, my love for poetry was always there, but your insightful explanations have added depth to my understanding and appreciation. Thank you!
  • mJw511
    The BEST Poetry Podcast
    I absolutely love this podcast. The poem selection alone is amazing, then add to it the gentle enthusiasm of host Pásraig Ò Tauma and it’s just perfects it. This is an joyous celebration of poetry, its power, its reach. As a fellow poet, thank you for this!
  • O2121
    Love this podcast. The poems are so well-selected and the commentary is thoughtful. The musical aesthetic of the show fits the theme, almost meditative.
  • foolishmcnabbit
    Outstanding Podcast
    His voice is soothing. His analyses of the poems are insightful. I look forward to every release
  • Rdswinford
    Just wonderful a wonderful poem and reading
    The visual images were there as you read the poem- almost empathetically I was there. Felt the love for that big black shiny horse
  • Nana@5531
    Our Bird Aegis
    What an extraordinary gift is this episode! Deep gratitude and something else that seems not to want to be wordified…
  • Martynav
    Healer / teacher
    This is my favorite podcast. I cannot put into words extraordinary healing, relief, joy and freedom when I listen to this podcast and am comforted by the blissful voice of the host. Thank you is the best I can do.
  • TheWatertree
    Best 15 minutes of my day
    In as little as 5 minutes I am swiftly taken to landscapes that only poetry can travel me. Pad further guides the tour with confident unpretentious encouragement. It takes me longer to decide my lunch! Best part of my day is this podcast!
  • Austin sadowski
    I love the poetry and I’m a poet myself It gives me joy to listen to poetry.
  • mikeymcdangerface
    Very short unchallenging safe poems read and over-examined by a mono-tonal Leprechaun. Fluffed up with Bland Cookie cutter interlude music that screams “royalty-free”. Uninspiring on all levels. mid westerners or people from Phoenix Arizona who’ve never read challenging poetry, talked to a person with an accent or heard meaningful original music will feel cultured and sophisticated by listening to this. Enjoy.
  • The Real Zen Boy
    Gone 100% Negative
    I used to really enjoy this podcast, especially the first season. The host is really insightful and draws a lot of meaning out of poems. The problem is they’ve become a one trick pony. Every season is now full of people who blame all their problems on white people. Racists talking about racism in a racist manner. There is no joy anymore in this podcast.
  • OneAmongSeven
    Soul Restoring
    Love the voice and the thoughtful conversation around poetry. Do yourself a favor and listen.
  • nlachance521
    Conversation with poetry
    I loop through these podcasts to soothe my soul. Learning how to be in conversation with poetry and the world around me. Thanks to on being for giving padraig this place to share.
  • Sandy Bar
    Generously insightful, lilting; a balm for the soul
    I LOVE this podcast. Padraig has a warm, generous spirit that glows in his lilting voice. I find his commentary insightful and balanced, never heavy handed or too wordy. The way he explores poetry invites me to go deeper, and I always am delighted to find things I didn’t see or notice, and so often end up in an unexpected place with a fresh view on the world.
  • LeeLee Lauree
    i enjoy this so much
    the passing days are soft then i listen to a certain poem and that day grips me. thanks for sharing poets i may never have heard of.
  • PoaRunner
    A respite
    I love Poetry Unbound. It’s a respite in our crazy and beautiful world. I love Poetry Unbound—you will too.
  • J Wilmoth
    Looking forward to season 7 starting!
    I am excited that season 7 is starting soon. I got hooked on this podcast last year and have listened to all of the episodes multiple times. I love the variety of the poems, the thoughtful analysis, and the cool music that is woven through the podcast. The episodes are always engaging, enriching, and enlightening.
  • roadtrippodcastlistener
    Inspired, listen every morning!
    Found this podcast recently from listening to On Being. It brings so much fulfillment and artful perspective to my life. The critical analysis of the poem and the second reading of it after makes it easy to appreciate each poet’s talent and intention. The experience makes life a little less heavy. Can’t recommend this podcast enough!
  • MatMicWil
    This podcast is beautiful and I am continually grateful for each episode. Each time I’m caught up on episodes, I start again with episode 1 and re-listen to the entire series. Nothing but love and gratitude for Pádraig Ó Tuama.
  • Axel_D_M
    I have never liked or understood poetry, but now I am hooked. This format and this way of reading/listening to poetry is just brilliant. It has really touched me and it is so innovative and needed for the world. It calms my body while entertains my brain. It is healing to listen to somehow. It slows everything down. I feel like poetry is slowing entering my body. I am curious on how poetry will shift things in me as I keep listening. Padraig is absolutely outstanding. His voice is calm, warm and relatable, poetic but not abstract. It is a real gift. Thank you thank you!
  • Liesel Runs
    treasure chest
    What a delicious treasure. I listen on my evening walks through nature, pausing to note a new author’s name to look up or to sit in the wonder of what I just heard. Just exquisite.
  • chicagotracy
    Exquisite. Thought-provoking. Perfect.
    I’ve changed my morning routine. Now, instead of doom scrolling social media, I listen to stunning poems, read and thoughtfully interpreted by the incomparable Pádraig Ó Tuama. My day starts on a much brighter note and my appreciation for poetry has blossomed.
  • Whitwon
    I listen, then listen again and again and love every second of every episode.
  • Sarspacious
    I just discovered this podcast and it feels like I found a treasure chest. The host has the perfect voice for reciting a poem and I like his choices. I greatly appreciate how he recites the poem once in the beginning and then at the end. It all feels like sitting by a fireside with a good cup of warm tea.
  • yogoes
    I feel sorry for Jesus
    I watched my ego breaking down as I listened to this poem. Thank you- that’s what art does for me sometimes. Breaking down the ego
  • phelpstimore
    A haven
    In a world of disturbing podcasts. Padraig is better than On Being itself ever was, and I’m so grateful for this gem. Can’t wait to get the book!
  • Sandy nj
    I couldn’t stop…
    Laughing as you read this poem. Either time you read it. Your inflection, I added expression to your face and twinkle to your eyes. Thank you Padraig.
  • gleepark
    Food for the Soul
    I stumbled upon this podcast, gave it a try, and am so very glad I did. It has become my very favorite thing to listen to. Food for my soul. Food I didn’t even know that I needed…. Thank you!
  • NMS555
    I love this podcast
    O Tuama not only understands the meanings and subtext of a poem, but has the ability to convey them in a way that we understand them also. A truly gifted teacher!
  • FHRfam
    Poetry for you and me
    “Poetry” usually brings to mind awkward teenagers and stern teachers but this show unlocks the magic in such a compelling way that I eagerly look forward to the episode every week.
  • lizzylukdar
    The Call of Poetry
    I fill my life with so many books articles podcasts reports music and stories that it often crowds out my ability to think and hear myself. Taking in this poem, and perhaps all poetry, helped me to create space to hear myself and get closer to my true self.
  • Daniel Sterno
    It’s a map …..
    As someone who does not believe in coincidences, and who doesn’t read or listen to a lot of poetry, it is no coincidence that Lost by David Wagoner found me today and why I think of it: not a poem but a map. With that said, it would take a whole episode by itself to explain, Sending Krista and Padraig a virtual hug for On Being and Poetry Unbound…..
  • aggy mae lee
    I love this poem! Oh my goodness. I am in search of lightening to strike me. The ‘you’ is me. My thinking is the poet is searching waiting hoping his words will come back to him. The you is him, the creative spirit that eludes us. For too long. We wait. Lightening strike me, please.
  • cesspresso
    Emotions unbound
    It’s the rare podcast that evokes a full range of emotions, fodder for sermons, and heightens my awareness of the human condition as this podcast does. I’m quite thankful for Padraig for this thoughtful offering of language art.
  • Margeek99
    Best Poetry Podcast!
    This poetry podcast has transformed my mornings from laborious and mundane to hours of peaceful reflection and quiet contemplation. Podraigs voice is soothing and full of emotion, he breaks the poems down so beautifully, making sure to bring out the hidden gems, while not making things overly complicated. Some poetry podcasts can be hard to follow but he makes sure to explain the complex ideas in a way anyone- even someone who has never read poetry- can understand. I look forward every week to this podcast! I hope it continues for years to come.
  • a Lebanese fan
    When I read this week’s On Being newsletter, I eagerly rushed to download Poetry Unbound. I just finished listening to Lost and have no words- it is so profound, so sentient, so wise. I am full. I can’t wait to keep listening and sharing with my community of writers, poets and friends. Thank you Padraig O Tuama . I will be pre-ordering your book.
  • Muller mountain poet
    Favorite poetry podcast
    This podcast is a treasure! I love that Padraig reads the poem at both the start and finish, and his insights into the poem are always very thoughtful, respectful of the poet, and fresh. As a poet myself, this podcast helps keeps me connected to a wide body of poets. I’m very grateful for it!
  • heatherec0503
    Powerful, beautiful
    I listen to an episode every night as I settle into bed for sleep. This podcast and its host are a gift.
  • brbudner
    i am so grateful for the chance to slow down, hear a poem read but padraig and absorb is beautiful, rich analysis.
  • Allie 🐊
    The podcast i
    I recently stumbled upon this podcast based on what I frequently listen to on the app. What a gift! The featured poems are beautiful, and the analysis is spot on, with room for multiple interpretations. Each episode is just long enough to take deep dive into something meaningful. Listening for 15 minutes helps me pause and reset regardless of how my day is going. I am adding this to my daily listening practice.
  • Sstills
    True Joy
    This podcast I find myself going back to time and time again. Not only does is introduce poets but Padraig’s perspective and commentary will have you nodding your head, “yes!” Most of the time while listening, I am smiling. Other times, I shed some tears in witnessing the human truths of the poet or Padraig’s words. 💗
  • KJSum
    Deeply touching and so relevant to our times
    This podcast is thought-provoking, brilliant and so relevant to our times. I’m often brought to tears by its beauty.
  • DocKoko
    Soothing and thought provoking
    I often listen to this while driving to my clinical veterinary job. There are a million to-do thoughts competing for brain bandwidth. The introduction narration review & re-narration soothe my soul and bring me into the present presence. Thanks so much for this gem, this bright spot.
  • SRS PAS Music
    I’ve never experienced poetry in such depth.
    So many layers of meaning in each reading.
  • D C Sims
    A Pearl
    Just a perfect Pearl.
  • trekofftrail
    This podcast is my peace
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful, searing, insightful poems, and for expanding on the precious words in equally beautiful and revealing language. I find it all magical…and healing.
  • phamsuz
    I listen to these when I walk in the forest
    I am grateful for padraig’s voice in the world. I appreciate how he unpacks each poem and the background of the poet. Thank you so much, you have helped me to appreciate poetry again.
  • Crowbar Man
    Brilliant but not for me
    I don’t care for the religious and other recurring themes of discussion. Otherwise Pádraig is a brilliant host. His passion for poetry is evident. Unlike many poetry podcasts where the host reads a completely abstract poem and we’re left to ooh and ahh like “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, I like how Pádraig analyses the poem and discusses what he reads into the nuances.
  • vmspain
    Sadness, cold and warmth
    Padraig’s comments before reading Danez Smith poem about being in a place of relentless sun and the comfort of returning to Irish weather- reminded me of the 8 months I spent in the American Southwest. The desert was a revalation- the place I learned even the smallest stone was sacred but I’d come from New England and when I returned to Maine it was the wettest summer on record and I drank in every drop and felt reborn in the mists.
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