Something Understood [world Service]

Episodes

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20090412
20090419
20090503

Chris Brookes looks at the two main currencies that we deal in - money and human kindness.

This week's edition of Something Understood is presented by the Canadian broadcaster Chris Brookes.

Recently, he received payment for one of his programmes in the form of a tab, set up at his local pub in St John's, Newfoundland.

This set him wondering about the nature and value of payments in cash and in kind.

He draws upon poems by Benjamin Zephaniah and others, music by Martin Carthy, Ernest Bloch and Billie Holiday and reflections on life in Newfoundland to explore the two main currencies that we deal in - money and human kindness.

That's The Currency Exchange, this week's Something Understood.

20090510

This week Mark Tully explores weaving as a metaphor for how we should live our life.

Mark Tully explores weaving as a metaphor for how we should live our life, beginning in Gandhi's house.

Gandhi believed weaving was a necessary spiritual discipline, and surprisingly, perhaps, many western poets and musicians echo this view.

With poetry by William Blake, Henry Vaughan, Walt Whitman, D.H.

Lawrence, and music by saxophonist Jan Garbareck.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20090517

Spiritually speaking, what is the difference between entitlement and your rights?

In Something Understood this week Mark Tully explores the complex relationship between a sense of entitlement, and the claiming of rights.

What is the difference between entitlements and rights and why is a sense of entitlement so closely related to privilege?

Today's programme was presented by Mark Tully.

His guest was Urvashi Butalia.

The readers were Baskar Ghose, Emma Fielding and David Holt.

Readings and Music

Music 1: ‘Symphony No.

9' composed by Roy Harris and performed by the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine.

Available on the CD Symphonies Nos.

7 and 9, released by Naxos.

Reading 1: ‘The Poor Relations' written by Iain Crichton Smith.

Available in P.E.N.

New Poetry 2, edited by Robert Nye, published by Quartet Books.

Reading 2: Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup.

Published by Transworld Publishers

Music 2: ‘Achal Im Di Nan Sver (The Challenge)' performed by Djur Djura.

Available on the CD The Best of Djur Djura: Voice of Silence, released by Luaka Bop.

Reading 3: Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss.

Published by Profile Books.

Music 3: ‘NIMBY' performed by Artisan.

Available on the album Our Back Yard, released by Bedspring Music.

Reading 4: The Home We Build Together written by Jonathan Sacks.

Published by Continuum Books.

Music 4: ‘Concerto for Cello and Orchestra' composed by Peteris Vasks and performed by the Riga Philharmonic Orchestra.

Available on the CD Vasks: Cello Concerto, released by Conifer Records.

Reading 5:.

‘Follow Me' (A Buddhist Poem) from A Pocket Book of Spiritual Poems, collected by Rumer Godden.

Published by Hodder and Stoughton.

Music 5: ‘Bleak House Suite: Finale' composed by Geoffrey Burgon and performed by The Philharmonia Orchestra.

Available on the CD Brideshead Revisited, released by Silva Screen.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20090524

A sense of being spiritually at one with the world is explored through music and poetry.

In this week's edition of Something Understood the actress Felicity Finch considers those moments in life when one is overtaken by a sense of being at one with the world - with landscape, the presence of others, the tasks we're engaged in.

She talks to the sculptor Emily Young about finding forms in ancient stone and draws upon writings about ‘duende' by Federico Garcia Lorca, poems by Seamus Heaney and Alice Walker and music from Spain, Pakistan, Northumbria and the subterranean caves of Kronos.

Stolen, spell-binding, rapturous moments fill ‘If Only We Could Bottle It'.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20090607
20090614
20090621

Mark Tully investigates the danger and usefulness of charm, with guest Tony Benn

With music from Handel, Gluck and Gerard Souzay and readings from Milton, Plutarch and The Last King of Scotland.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20090712

Mark Tully and business guru Charles Handy on the relationship between buyer and seller.

Mark Tully talks to business guru Charles Handy about the troubled relationship between buyer and seller.

They discuss Montaigne's maxim: no profit is ever made except at somebody else's loss."

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry."

20090719

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

This week: volunteering.

Mike Wooldridge celebrates the role and vision of the volunteer, in the company of Glyn Roberts, whose own voluntary organisation has sent over 2 million re-conditioned tools to help poor craftsmen and women in Africa and Asia to help themselves.

20090726
20090802
20090809

This week, Mark Tully celebrates cricket as a symbol of an ideal society.

In Something Understood this week Mark Tully celebrates cricket as a symbol of an ideal society, with historian Ramanchandra Guha.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20090816
20090823

Mark Tully considers great leaders.

What is the source of their power to change people?

What is the source of their power to galvanize the cynical and apathetic to hope and action?

What, if anything, do Beowulf, Abraham Lincoln, Elizabeth I and Nelson Mandela have in common?

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20090830

Writer Irma Kurtz reflects on one of our deepest expressions of revelation - laughter.

Irma Kurtz, writer of the book Laugh and the World Laughs With You, reflects on one of our deepest expressions of revelation - laughter.

It is a natural reaction when times are good, and great form of resistance in darker periods.

Laughter has inspired many great artists, and Kurtz draws on the work of Robert Frost, Katherine Mansfield, Mozart and Paganini to illustrate her theme.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20090906
20091004
20091011

Writer Sarah Cuddon's experiences of mountains are interwoven with the words of poets.

This week's edition of Something Understood is presented by the writer Sarah Cuddon.

Since childhood visits to her grandfather's remote house in the Pyrenees, Sarah has been drawn to mountain landscapes - and the people who climb them.

In this programme, called The Ascent, her own experiences in the Himalayas, the Andes and the Scottish Highlands are interwoven with the words of the climbers Joe Simpson and Robert Macfarlane, the poets Ted Hughes and William Wordsworth, and music by Delius, Grieg and the Cameroon group Baka Beyond.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20091018
2009103120091101

Hazhir Teimourian asks whether youth, as with spring and summer, is not overrated.

In Something Understood this week, Hazhir Teimourian asks whether youth, as with spring and summer, is not overrated.

In the company of sages and poets from the most ancient times to our own era, he draws parallels between the physical 'age of mists and mellow fruitfulness' and the contentment and serenity that can be the gift of old age in these days of greater affluence and better medicine.

From Cicero in Rome 2000 years ago, through Omar Khayyam in medieval Persia and Shakespeare in modern England, he reflects upon both reminiscences of youth and the praise of 'the autumn of life'.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

2009110720091108

A look at the role bridges play in connecting communities, cultures and countries.

Writer Christie Dickason considers the physical and metaphorical significance of bridges.

She looks at the role bridges play in connecting communities, cultures and countries.

Her guest is the violinist Ruth Waterman who has built strong associations with musicians in Mostar, Bosnia - where the rebuilding of the Stari Most bridge offers more than access across the river.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

2009111420091115

How stories and words of wisdom change and evolve in families over generations.

Storyteller Pamela Marre reflects upon words of wisdom and stories passed down through families over the generations.

She looks at what we choose to remember, how we mould it into a new shape to fit ourselves, and how the next generation reinterpret it.

Pamela talks to poet Elaine Feinstein about the stories and wisdoms her family shared with her.

Elaine recalls the enthusiasm and excitement in her father's voice the first time he told her the biblical story of the Exodus.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20091121

Mark Tully reflects on reflections: in mirrors, photgraphs, film and art.

Mark Tully reflects on reflections: in mirrors, photgraphs, film and art, considering whether they can offer insights into ourselves.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20091128

Mark Tully explores the meaning of dignity

For some, dignity is an innate and noble quality of humanity, for others it is a meaningless notion, and for Dr Johnson it is a complicating factor in human relationships.

The readers are Janice Acquah and Nicholas Boulton.

Music

Music 1: ‘Caractacus, Scene IV, Rome, The Triumphal Procession' by Edward Elgar, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Released by Chandos records.

Music 2: ‘Petra: A Ritual Dream' composed by John Tavener.

Performed by The Choir and Orchestra of The Academy of Ancient Music.

Released by Harmonia Mundi.

Music 3: ‘Having Seen The Moon' composed by Karl Jenkins, performed by the West Kazakhstan Philharmonic Orchestra, and Serendipity Choir.

Released by EMI Records.

Music 4: ‘Dignity' by Bob Dylan, available The Best of Vol.

II, released by Columbia.

Music 5: ‘Victory' performed by the Soweto String Quartet.

Available on the album Four, released by RCA.

Music 6: ‘Ich Wandre Durch Theresienstadt' composed by Ilse Weber, performed by Anne Sofie Von Otter.

Available on the album Terezin I Theresienstadt.

Released by Deutsche Grammophon.

Readings

Reading 1: The Spiritual Teachings of Marcus Aurelius written by Mark Forstater.

Published by Harper Collins

Reading 2: ‘On Growing Old' written by John Masefield.

Available in the book The Collected Poems of John Masefield, published by Heinemann.

Reading 3: ‘Freedom from Fear' written by Aung San Suu Kyi.

Available in the book, Freedom From Fear.

Published by Penguin.

Reading 4: Mary Queen of Scots prayer before her execution.

February 8th 1587, Fotheringay Castle.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20091205
20091212

Classicist Llewelyn Morgan considers the problem of aspiring towards perfection.

Classicist Llewelyn Morgan considers the problem of aspiring towards perfection, and how an acceptance, and even celebration, of our failings may be the better path to follow.

With readings from Orhan Pamuk, Horace and WB Yeats and music from Jascha Heifetz, John Foulds and Alessandro Scarlatti.

MUSIC

Music 1: Foulds: Kashmiri Boat Song

Performed by the London Salon Ensemble

(CD: The Art Deco Cafe)

Meridian 84361 Trk 14

Music 2: Taksim

Performed by Musique Soufi

(CD: The Dervishes of Turkey)

Playasound PS 65120 Trk 5

Music 3: Bach: ‘Ciaccona'

Partita Nr.

2 in D Minor BWV 1004

Performed by Jascha Heifetz

(CD: Bach: Sonaten and Partiten)

EMI CD 7644942 Trk 9

Music 4: Takemitsu: Clouds

Performed by Megumi Fujita (piano)

(CD: Takemitsu: Piano Pieces for Children)

ASV CD DCA 1120

Music 5: Scarlatti: Ave Lactea

Quae Est Ista

Performed by Il Seminario Musicale

(CD: Alessandro Scarlatti – Sacred Works)

Virgin Classics 5453662 Trk 33

Music 6: So What

Performed by Miles Davis

(CD: Kind of Blue)

Sony 88697439232 Trk 1

READINGS

Reading 1: Baburnama by Babur

Published by Modern Library

Poem 1: Epistles by Horace

Published by Kessinger Publishing

Reading 2: My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

Published by Faber and Faber

Reading 3: Letter to Jascha Heifetz from George Bernard Shaw

Poem 2: The Snow Party written by Derek Mahon.

Available in The Snow Party, published by Oxford University Press

Poem 3: Odes 2.10 by Horace.

Available in The Complete Odes and Epodes, published by Oxford

World Classics

Poem 4: Sailing to Byzantium by WB Yeats.

Available in The Collected Poems of W.B.

Yeats, published by the

Wordsworth Poetry Library

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20091219
20091226
2010010220100103 (WS)

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

2010011620100117 (WS)

Wild swimming: Sarah Cuddon reflects on what draws people into the open water.

Wild Swimming: writer Sarah Cuddon regularly finds herself turning country walks into hunts for secluded swimming spots. Like Huckleberry Finn and countless other literary figures – both real and imagined – she is drawn to open water. With reference to Lord Byron, Irish Murdoch, and other writers "hungry for water," she considers the physical and spiritual aspects of "wild swimming" and she talks to Kate Rew, founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society, about her experiences in English lakes, foreign rivers and the open sea.

2010012320100124 (WS)

Mark Tully asks if honesty is always the best policy, and talks to philosopher AC Grayling

Mark Tully asks if absolute honesty is always the best policy, and questions philosopher AC Grayling about his suggestion that dishonesty can sometimes even be virtuous.

The readers are Emily Raymond and David Westhead.

Music

Music 1: ‘His Affection and His Faith: Andantino’ composed by Robert Russell Bennett and performed by the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra. Available on Robert Russell Bennett: Lincoln: Likeness in Symphony. Released by Naxos.

Music 2: ‘It’s a Sin to tell a Lie’ by Billie Holiday. Available on the album Over There. Released by Dictum – Phontastic.

Music 3: ‘Les Deux Avares - Overture’, composed by Andre Gretry, performed by Sophie Karthauser, Les Agremens and Guy van Waas. Available on Selections from Cephale and Procis/L’Aurore: Arias.

Music 4: ‘Reason to Believe’ by Tim Hardin. Available on Reasons to Believe (The Best of). Released by Polygram Records Inc.

Music 5: ‘Le roi Lear’ composed by Hector Berlioz, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis. Available on the album Berlioz Overtures. Released on Philips Classics.

Readings

Reading 1: ‘If’ by Dr. David Jaffin, available in Intimacies of Sound. Published by Shearsman Books.

Reading 2: ‘Bitcherel’ by Eleanor Brown. Available in Making for Planet Alice. Edited by Maura Dooley. Published by Bloodaxe.

Reading 3: ‘Don’t Ask’ by Brian Patten. Available in Collected Love Poems, Published by Harper.

Reading 4: ‘Diary of a Young Girl’ by Anne Frank, translated by Susan Massotty. Published by Penguin.

Reading 5: ‘The Teacup Storm’ by Georgina Blake, from the book The Delicious Lie. Published by Crocus Books.

Music 1: ‘His Affection and His Faith: Andantino' composed by Robert Russell Bennett and performed by the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra.

Available on Robert Russell Bennett: Lincoln: Likeness in Symphony.

Released by Naxos.

Music 2: ‘It's a Sin to tell a Lie' by Billie Holiday.

Available on the album Over There.

Released by Dictum – Phontastic.

Music 3: ‘Les Deux Avares - Overture', composed by Andre Gretry, performed by Sophie Karthauser, Les Agremens and Guy van Waas.

Available on Selections from Cephale and Procis/L'Aurore: Arias.

Music 4: ‘Reason to Believe' by Tim Hardin.

Available on Reasons to Believe (The Best of).

Released by Polygram Records Inc.

Music 5: ‘Le roi Lear' composed by Hector Berlioz, performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis.

Available on the album Berlioz Overtures.

Released on Philips Classics.

Reading 1: ‘If' by Dr.

David Jaffin, available in Intimacies of Sound.

Published by Shearsman Books.

Reading 2: ‘Bitcherel' by Eleanor Brown.

Available in Making for Planet Alice.

Edited by Maura Dooley.

Published by Bloodaxe.

Reading 3: ‘Don't Ask' by Brian Patten.

Available in Collected Love Poems, Published by Harper.

Reading 4: ‘Diary of a Young Girl' by Anne Frank, translated by Susan Massotty.

Published by Penguin.

Reading 5: ‘The Teacup Storm' by Georgina Blake, from the book The Delicious Lie.

Published by Crocus Books.

2010013020100131 (WS)

Mark Tully explores different approaches to the intractable issues in our lives.

Mark Tully explores different approaches to the intractable issues in our lives. When is it better to wrestle with them head-on, and when is it better to seek a gentler resolution?

The readers are Emily Raymond and William Gaminara.

Music

Music 1: ‘Symphony No. 2, Op. 27 Allegro molto’ composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Available on the album The Best of Rachmaninoff. Released by Philips.

Music 2: ‘I Wander by the Edge’ composed by Peter Warlock, performed by Ian Partirdge and the Music Group of London. Available on A Warlock Centenary Album, released by EMI Records.

Music 3: ‘Where I Go’ by Natalie Merchant. Available on the album Tigerlily. Released by Elektra.

Music 4: ‘The Voice Out of The Whirlwind’ composed by Vaughan Williams, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra. Available on the album Willow-Wood, released by Naxos.

Music 5: ‘That Don’t Make It Junk’ by Leonard Cohen. Available on the album Ten New Songs. Released on Columbia.

Music 6: ‘Geistliches Lied Op.30’ composed by Johannes Brahms, performed by Gerhard Dickel. Available on Chorwerke, released by Deutsche Grammophon.

Readings

Reading 1: “Meeting with Remarkable Men? by G.I. Gurdjieff. Published by Penguin.

Reading 2: “Till God Will? by Mary Ward, edited by Emmanuel Orchard. Published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd.

Reading 3: “A Calendar of Wisdom? by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Peter Sekirin. Published by Prentice Hall.

Reading 4: ‘Letters from Baron von Hugel to a Niece’ by David Scott. From Selected Poems. Published by Bloodaxe.

When is it better to wrestle with them head-on, and when is it better to seek a gentler resolution?

Music 1: ‘Symphony No.

2, Op.

27 Allegro molto' composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Available on the album The Best of Rachmaninoff.

Released by Philips.

Music 2: ‘I Wander by the Edge' composed by Peter Warlock, performed by Ian Partirdge and the Music Group of London.

Available on A Warlock Centenary Album, released by EMI Records.

Music 3: ‘Where I Go' by Natalie Merchant.

Available on the album Tigerlily.

Released by Elektra.

Music 4: ‘The Voice Out of The Whirlwind' composed by Vaughan Williams, performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra.

Available on the album Willow-Wood, released by Naxos.

Music 5: ‘That Don't Make It Junk' by Leonard Cohen.

Available on the album Ten New Songs.

Released on Columbia.

Music 6: ‘Geistliches Lied Op.30' composed by Johannes Brahms, performed by Gerhard Dickel.

Available on Chorwerke, released by Deutsche Grammophon.

Reading 1: “Meeting with Remarkable Men” by G.I.

Gurdjieff.

Published by Penguin.

Reading 2: “Till God Will” by Mary Ward, edited by Emmanuel Orchard.

Published by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd.

Reading 3: “A Calendar of Wisdom” by Leo Tolstoy, translated by Peter Sekirin.

Published by Prentice Hall.

Reading 4: ‘Letters from Baron von Hugel to a Niece' by David Scott.

From Selected Poems.

Published by Bloodaxe.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20100206
20100213

Mark Tully considers the enduring symbolism and mystical properties of pearls.

Mark Tully considers the enduring symbolism of pearls and the mystical properties with which they are endowed in myth and religious tradition.

The readers are Janice Acquah, William Gaminara and Frank Stirling.

Music

Music 1: 'Main Title' composed and conducted by Alex North.

Available on Cleopatra Soundtrack.

Released by Varese Sarabande.

Music 2: 'A String of Pearls' composed by Jerry Gray and Edgar De Lange, performed by The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Orchestra.

Available on the album I Sustain The Wings Vol.

II U.S.A 1943, released by Magic.

Music 3: 'Pearly Gates' by Blind Willie McTell.

Released by Rhino Atlantic records.

Music 4: 'The Pearl' composed and performed by Harold Budd and Brian Eno.

Available on 'The Pearl', released by EG records.

Music 5: 'The Pearl Fishers' composed by Georges Bizet.

Available on the album Harry Enfield's Guide to Opera.

Released on EMI Records.

Music 6: 'Pearl of Great Price' performed by the Enfield Shaker Singers.

Available on the album I am Filled with Heavenly Treasures.

Released by New World Records.

Readings

Reading 1: Sweeney Todd" (anon)

Reading 2: 'The Pearl.

Matthew 13' by George Herbert.

Available in "Metaphysical Poetry".

Published by Penguin Classics

Reading 3: "Artharvayeda" (anon)

Reading 4: 'What the Oyster Knows' by Henrietta Epstein from "The Necessary Pearl".

Published by Red Hanrahan Press.

Reading 5: 'The Pearl Fisher' by Kenneth C Steven.

Published by the National Poetry Foundation.

Reading 6: 'The Pearl of Great Price' by Peter Rollins.

Available in "The Orthodox Heretic", published by Canterbury Press.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry."

20100220

The power of the breath as the source of our physical, mental and spiritual health.

Mark Tully explores the power of the breath as the source of our physical, mental and spiritual health.

The readers are Janice Acquah, Frank Stirling and David Westhead.

MUSIC

Music 1: ‘Syrinx' composed by Claude Debussy and performed by Roger Bourdin.

Available on the album 3 Sonatas.

Released by Philips Classics.

Music 2: ‘Breathing' by Harald Peterstorfer.

Performed by Aija-Riitta Holopainen.

Available on the album Open Skies.

Released on ATS Enterprises.

Music 3: ‘O Ignis Spiritus' by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen.

Performed by Andrew Parrott, Kevin Breen and Howard Milner.

Available on the album Sequences and Hymns.

Released on Hyperion Records.

Music 4: ‘Breath of Prayer' written and performed by Carrie Melbourne.

Available on the album Et Spiritu Sancti.

Released by Olive Tree.

Music 5: ‘Breath on Me, Breath of God', performed by the Choir of Wells Cathedral.

Available on the album The English Hymn.

Released by Hyperion.

Music 6: ‘In Native Worth' composed by Joseph Haydn, performed by Robert Tear.

Available on the album The Creation.

Released by EMI Records.

READINGS

Reading 1: ‘Article of Faith' by Julia Bird, available in “Hannah and The Monk”.

Published by Salt Publishing.

Reading 2: “Breath” by Ellen Phethean.

Published by Flambard Press.

Reading 3: ‘A Marriage' by R.S Thomas.

Available in the Bloodaxe Book of 20th Century Poetry and Selected Poems.

Published by Bloodaxe.

Reading 4: “Light on Life” by BKS Iyengar.

Published by Rodale.

Reading 5: “Into The Silent Land: The Practice of Contemplation” by Martin Laird.

Published by Darton, Longman and Todd.

Reading 6: ‘Emanation' by Ella Dietz, available in the “Oxford Book of Mystical Verse”.

Published by Oxford University Press.

Reading 7: “The Prelude” by Wordsworth.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20100306

Scholar and priest Teresa Morgan explores some of the many ways in which we see work.

Scholar and priest Teresa Morgan explores some of the many ways in which we see work - as a necessary evil, an act of love, a right, a gift and an expression of faith.

With readings from the Bhagavad Gita, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Virgil, and music by Peggy Seeger, Robert Fayrfax and Vaughan Williams.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20100313
20100320

Satish Kumar explores the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim.

When you travel what is your aim? Is it possible for the very act of travelling to be important in itself? Satish Kumar explores the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim, and asks whether pilgrimage can become a way of life rather than going to places.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20100501

Our relationship to the figure of the mother is, of course, a recurring theme for artists. In this week's edition of Something Understood the writer Sarah Cuddon ponders the "mother as muse". With reference to the writings of Simone de Beauvoir, Virginia Woolf and Lorna Goodison, and through music by Patti Smith, John Lennon and Pergolesi, she explores how people come to terms with the woman who brought them into being. And Sarah walks in the garden of her family home in the company of her own mother, seeking traces of her mother and the legacy she’s left.

20100508

Mark Tully presents a special edition of Something Understood from Westminster Abbey, which this month celebrates the 450th anniversary of its establishment as a collegiate church by Elizabeth I.

The Dean of Westminster, The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, guides us through some of the Abbey's most sacred spaces, and talks about the inspiration he finds in the 'prayer-soaked walls'.

Prayer is the main theme of the programme, and The Dean talks personally about how and why he prays, including an admission that before any great State Service involving the Queen, he sends up a quick 'stiffening' arrow of prayer.

The programme includes prayers by some of those who are buried in the Abbey, like Charles Dickens, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Sir Isaac Newton.

The music too is by the great musicians commemorated there: Handel, Purcell, Stanford, and Noel Coward, whose moving wartime song 'London Pride' celebrates the spirit of the Blitz.

Other readings include an account of Charles II's coronation in the Abbey by Samuel Pepys - as always just as interested in the fine ladies as the spectacle going on round him; and a sharp satire on prayer by John Betjeman.

A programme which evokes the awe of a very beautiful sacred space - but which is also witty, and lively, never too solemn.

Mark Tully explores the sacred spaces of Westminster Abbey with the Very Rev Dr John Hall.

20100724

Mark Tully talks to poet and novelist Louis De Bernieres about the difference between poetry and prose.

Is poetry, as Coleridge has said, "the best words in the best order"? Is it true that poetry is really better than prose at expressing emotion?

And can poetry really change the world, as at least one writer believes?

Mark Tully talks to Louis De Bernieres about the difference between poetry and prose.

20100814
20100821
20100828
20100904
20100911
20100918

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

20101010
20101016

20101016

This week's programme celebrates the effectiveness of fables and asks why they are still considered such powerful teaching tools.

Most of the major faiths use stories to illustrate morals, philosophy or ideas.

Mark asks why is this perceived as such a good way of making religious or ethical points and how stories have become such a staple of great preaching for thousands of years.

He looks for the type of the great fable or parable and finds some teaching stories that have a lasting effect on the way we behave and why.

The programme draws on readings from The Bible, the Panchatantra and the novelists Javier Marios, George Orwell and Rabih Alahmeddine as well as poetry by Whitman and Herbert.

Music includes works by Mahler, Alfven and the Soweto String Quartet.

Mark Tully looks at the art of parables and fables

20101023
20101030

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry

20101106
20101113
20101120
20101127
20101212
2010121820101219
20110108
20110115
20110122
20110130
20110205
20110212

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry

20110219
20110226
20110305
20110319
20110326
01/05/201020100502
02/01/201020100103
04/09/201020100905
04/12/201020101205
05/02/201120110206
05/03/201120110306

05/12/200920091206
06/02/201020100207
06/03/201020100307

Scholar and priest Teresa Morgan explores some of the many ways in which we see work.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

06/11/201020101107
08/01/201120110109
08/05/201020100509

Mark Tully explores the sacred spaces of Westminster Abbey with the Very Rev Dr John Hall.

11/09/201020100912
12/03/201120110313

12/12/200920091213

Classicist Llewelyn Morgan considers the problem of aspiring towards perfection.

13/02/201020100214

Mark Tully considers the enduring symbolism and mystical properties of pearls.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

13/03/201020100314
13/11/201020101114
14/08/201020100815
14/11/200920091115

How stories and words of wisdom change and evolve in families over generations.

15/01/201120110116
16/01/201020100117
16/10/2010

16/10/201020101017

Mark Tully looks at the art of parables and fables

16/10/201020101017

18/09/2010

18/09/201020100919
18/12/2010
19/03/201120110320

19/12/200920091220
20/02/201020100221

The power of the breath as the source of our physical, mental and spiritual health.

20/03/201020100321

Satish Kumar explores the difference between a tourist and a pilgrim.

20/11/201020101121
21/08/201020100822
21/11/200920091122

Mark Tully reflects on reflections: in mirrors, photgraphs, film and art.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

22/01/201120110123
23/01/201020100124

Mark Tully asks if honesty is always the best policy, and talks to philosopher AC Grayling

23/10/2010

23/10/201020101024
24/05/200920090531

A sense of being spiritually at one with the world is explored through music and poetry.

In this week's edition of Something Understood the actress Felicity Finch considers those moments in life when one is overtaken by a sense of being at one with the world - with landscape, the presence of others, the tasks we're engaged in.

She talks to the sculptor Emily Young about finding forms in ancient stone and draws upon writings about ‘duende' by Federico Garcia Lorca, poems by Seamus Heaney and Alice Walker and music from Spain, Pakistan, Northumbria and the subterranean caves of Kronos.

Stolen, spell-binding, rapturous moments fill ‘If Only We Could Bottle It'.

24/07/201020100725

Mark Tully talks to Louis De Bernieres about the difference between poetry and prose.

26/12/200920091227
27/11/201020101128
28/08/201020100829
28/11/200920091129

Mark Tully explores the meaning of dignity

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

30/01/201020100131

Mark Tully explores different approaches to the intractable issues in our lives.

30/10/201020101031
A Sympathy In Choice20100606

Mark Tully asks what triggers our sympathy, especially for someone we've previously ignored or despised.

What happens when our heart is turned, in a moment, from indifference to compassion?

Mark Tully asks what triggers our sympathy.

Attitude Problem20100424

Mark Tully consider the impact of our mental attitude on situations, events and objects.

The power of positive thinking has been drummed into us in recent years, but has the backlash begun?

Mark Tully considers the impact of our mental attitude on situations, events and objects.

Attitude Problem20100425

Mark Tully considers the impact of our mental attitude on situations, events and objects.

Blame it on the Universe

Blame It On The Universe20100925
Blame It On The Universe20100926

Mark Tully wonders why so many people now talk about The Universe where they would once have spoken about God.

Why is The Universe a more helpful and meaningful concept for some than 'God', when they are seeking guidance, confirmation and blessing?

Where has the expression come from, and what does it actually mean?

Mark Tully wonders why so many people now talk about The Universe rather than God

Blunt Speaking20110213

Alastair Campbell tries to persuade us that his reputation for blunt speaking is not entirely accurate, as Mark Tully explores the pros and cons of saying exactly what you think.

As a guest on the programme, Campbell suggests he has a 'feline' side which enabled him to be subtle in his work as Tony Blair's Director of Communications, and that blunt speaking need not necessarily be aggressive.

Mark Tully invites us to make up our own minds on whether we believe Campbell, before examining the nature of speaking plainly, as we see it.

And it's this last phrase which Tully sees as important: blunt speakers may only be voicing an opinion that can often be hurtful and stand in the way of dialogue and understanding.

But can withholding an honest opinion be just as obstructive to real communication? Perhaps the answer lies in the sentiments of one of the groups of musicians featured in the programme, Tama, who state "There are three truths in Africa: my truth, your truth, and the truth itself.

Whoever is right is right, whoever imposes their reason is wrong".

Alastair Campbell tells Mark Tully his blunt speaking reputation isn't entirely accurate

Childhood Innocence20110102

Jonathan Charles considers the innocence of children and reflects on the charm of those adults who still retain something of the child within.

Jonathan Charles considers the innocence of children

Dark Sanctuary - 05/07/200920090705

Fergal Keane explores the physical and fairytale world created by the forest.

Today's programme was presented by Fergal Keane

The readers were Liza Sadovy and Simon Wolfe.

Readings and Music

Music 1: Down Yon Forest performed by Andreas Scholl and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Available on the CD Wayfaring Stranger: Folksongs released by Decca.

Reading 1: As You Like It written by William Shakespeare

Reading 2: The Song of Hiawatha written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Edited by Daniel Aaron and published by Everyman.

Music 2: Call of the Forest performed by Baka Beyond.

Available on the album Rhythm Tree, released by March Hare Music.

Reading 3: The Tiger written by William Blake

Music 3: The Tiger composed by John Tavener and performed by the Sixteen.

Available on the album Two Hymns to the Mother of God released by Collins Classics.

Reading 4: Movements in European History written by D.H.

Lawrence.

Published by Oxford University Press.

Music 4: Gortoz a Ran performed by Denez Prigent.

Available on the album Black Hawk Down Original Soundtrack released by Universal.

Reading 5: What Shall We Do For Timber, Anon (18th Century)

Reading 6: A Walk in the Woods written by Bill Bryson and published by Black Swan.

Music 5: Gretel! Ich weiss den Weg nicht mehr! composed by Englebert Humperdinck and performed by Staatskapelle Dresden.

Available on the album Hansel and Gretel, released by Phillips.

Reading 7: A Dream Pang written by Robert Frost

Music 6: In the Forest performed by Van Morrison.

Available on the album Too Long in Exile, released by Polydor.

Reading 8: Lights Out written by Edward Thomas.

Published by Faber and Faber.

Music 7: Nocturne composed by Mendelssohn and performed by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Available on the album A Midsummer Night's Dream, released by RCA.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

Earth's Crammed With Heaven2010010920100110 (WS)

Where is the real location of heaven - and can it be found on Earth?

Where can heaven really be found? Mark Tully considers its location in conversation with his friend, the veteran documentary-maker Jonathan Stedall.

Everything In The Garden20100613

The journalist Madeleine Bunting reflects on the appeal of gardens and gardening.

Finding Your Father20100710

British-based Gospel singer and broadcaster Muyiwa Olarewaju tells the story of his search for a father.

He was sent from Nigeria to Britain when he 10 years old.

His father was shot dead in Nigeria and he never saw him again.

Muyiwa recalls standing on a London high street, with all his belongings in a black bin bag, wondering where to turn.

He recounts how he met a church youth leader Emmanuel Mbakwe - now the national leader of the UK Apostolic Church - who adopted him and encouraged him to take up his career as a Gospel singer.

This led to a deeper understanding of his spiritual father and eventual peace.

Muyiwa reflects upon the true sense of fatherhood, drawing on readings ranging from Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's classic Things Fall Apart, to American Marilynne Robinson's Gilead.

He also draws on music and songs which reflect the theme of finding a father - including his own hit Gospel song Safe In His Hands, recorded with his band Riversongz.

Nigerian-born Gospel singer Muyiwa Olarewaju tells the story of his search for a father.

Finding Your Father20100711

Nigerian-born Gospel singer Muyiwa Olarewaju tells the story of his search for a father.

God Be In My Head2010041020100411

The benediction 'God Be In My Head' often forms part of funeral ceremonies.

This week's presenter, Tom Robinson, heard it at his own father's recent memorial service, which led him to reflect upon how it's refrain resonates in our lives, both spiritually and in secular contexts.

He draws upon the words of Martin Luther King, John Wesley and Evelyn Waugh, among others, with music by Peteris Vasks, Hank Williams, Ben Harper and Walford Davies.

Tom Robinson reflects on the benediction God Be In My Head.

Knights In Shining Armour20100807

Sometimes the figure offering salvation from physical or spiritual peril isn't who we'd expect, as Tom Robinson reflects.

Tom Robinson reflects upon our yearning to be rescued.

Knights In Shining Armour20100808

Tom Robinson reflects upon our yearning to be rescued.

Longing For The Sea20100620

Mark Tully discusses our longing for the sea with National Poet of Wales Gwyneth Lewis, who spent a year on a disastrous round the world voyage.

Despite the danger and the loneliness, she still longs for the sea, and reads a new poem Sea Virus".

Lewis is a committed Christian, and she talks about how the experience of being alone on a vast ocean has strengthened her spiritual belief.

Other poets in the programme include the contemporary Welsh poet Menna Elfyn, who speaks of the sea opening her eyes; and the Anglo-Saxon seafarer from before the Tenth Century.

The music includes Britten's Sea Interlude: Dawn, Charles Trenet's evocative song of the 40s "La Mer", and a Bach cantata in which he evokes a storm.

Mark Tully discusses our longing for the sea and its connection with spiritual belief."

Moving On2010041720100418

In Something Understood this week Mark Tully explores the physical and emotional upheaval of moving home.

Widely recognised as one of the most stressful of life's experiences, moving can be difficult and traumatic, but it can also be an opportunity to de-clutter, reflect and start afresh.

Mark Tully explores the physical and emotional upheaval of moving home.

Mythos And Logos20100627

Mark Tully explores the difference between a scientific understanding of the world and a mythological understanding; between the rational language of science and the poetic language of myth.

Exploring the difference between scientific and mythological understandings of the world.

Reinventing Ritual20090927

Mark Tully asks how our deep need for rituals and rites of passage is being expressed.

Mark Tully asks how, in an increasingly secular age, our deep need for rituals and rites of passage is being expressed and nourished.

How do new rituals develop and in response to what needs?

The readers are Janice Acquah, Frank Stirling and David Westhead.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

Sleep20100516

Mark Tully considers the role of sleep.

We spend an average 27 years of our lives asleep, yet it's claimed we're experiencing an epidemic of insomnia, and that children are particularly badly affected.

Why is sleep so important to our physical, mental and spiritual well-being?

Mark Tully asks why sleep is so important to our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

Solitude20100731

Melissa Viney draws upon her own experience of aloneness to reflect upon different states of solitude.

Including extracts from the writings of Henry David Thoreau, Sara Maitland and Virginia Woolf, music by Emiliana Torrini, Ry Cooder and JS Bach and interviews with the artist Helaine Blumenfeld and former journalist and hostage Anthony Grey.

Melissa Viney reflects on different states of solitude.

Solitude20100801

Melissa Viney reflects on different states of solitude.

Something Understood20090628

What makes a good judge? Mark Tully explores how we judge another's character.

What makes a good judge? Many of us pride ourselves on bieng good judges of character.

However it has been estimated that up to a third of our judgments about other people's characters are wrong.

Mark Tully explores how we judge another's character.

On what clues do we base our assessments, why are we so often mistaken, and can we learn to read the clues more accurately?

Mark Tully's guest this week is Mallika Akbar.

The readers are Janice Acquah and David Westhead.

Readings and Music

Music 1: Charade (Main Title) composed by Henry Mancini and performed by Henry Mancini and his Orchestra.

Available on the CD Charade, released by RCA.

Reading 1: You Will Be Hearing From Us Shortly written by U.A.

Fanthorpe.

Available in Collected Poems 1978-2003.

Published by Peterloo Poets.

Music 2: You Can't Judge a Book by its Cover performed by Tim Hardin.

Available on the CD Hang on to a Dream.

Reading 2: 21 (A shilling life will give you all the facts…) written by W.H.

Auden.

Published by Faber and Faber.

Reading 3: King Henry VI written by William Shakespeare.

Music 3: Who Was She? composed by Nico Muhly.

Available on the CD The Reader OST, released by Lakeshore.

Reading 4: The Book of Tells written by Peter Collett.

Published by Bantam.

Music 4: May Colvin performed by Sileas.

Available on the album Play on Light, released by Greentrax Recordings.

Reading 5:.

Afterwards written by Fleur Adcock.

Available in the book Selected Poems, published by OUP.

Music 5: Overture from Solomon composed by Handel and performed by the Amor Artis Chorale and the English Chamber Orchestra.

Available on the CD Solomon, released by Vanguard Classics.

Spiritual Energy20110220

Mark Tully draws on music and literature inspired by the concept of a "Creator Spirit" to ask if spiritual energy exists, where it might be found, and how we can tap into it.

From Mahler's setting of the hymn "Veni Creator Spiritus", and Olivier Messiaen's Psalmody of Ubiquity Through Love, to the dances of Whirling Dervishes and the flute music of Northern Plains Native Americans, Tully seeks for ways in which we can be inspired by some kind of sacred energy.

And through literature from Greece, the USA, Britain, France and India, he examines the metaphors - fire, a 'great heart', light, electricity, and breath - that have been used in an attempt to describe this illusive but attractive idea.

Mark Tully asks if spiritual energy exists, where it might be, and how we can tap into it

Stories Of The Nativity20101225

In a Christmas edition of Something Understood, Mark Tully considers the symbolism and meaning of the traditional nativity stories and asks what they can offer us in a contemporary context.

Some church historians now argue that, given inconsistencies in the Gospels and a variety of other empirical evidence, accounts of the Nativity should be viewed as stories rather than literal history.

If this is the case, what is the significance of the stories that have been handed down to us about the birth of Jesus and what can we learn from them?

Mark Tully talks to church historian Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch about his approach to these 'stories' of the Nativity.

Different approaches to the Christmas tales are found in the writing of novelist Elizabeth Goudge, poets Moira Andrew and T.S.Eliot and the Syrian mystic Deacon Ephrem and music is by Vaughan Williams, Kathy Mattea and the African Gospel Choir.

Mark Tully considers the significance of traditional nativity stories

Stories Of The Nativity20101226

Mark Tully considers the significance of traditional nativity stories

Sweet Surrender20100327

Fergal Keane considers if serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.

When should we accept our lot and when should we rage against circumstances? Fergal Keane considers the notion that serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.

The readers are Liza Sadovy, Frank Stirling and Don Wycherley.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

Sweet Surrender20100328

Fergal Keane considers if serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.

The Beauty Of Birds2010040320100404

As we enter Holy Week, Mark Tully explores birds as symbols of spiritual hope in this week's Something Understood.

Soaring above the earth, for many poets and composers they have come to represent the soul, freed from the constraints of our earthly form.

Mark travels to Suffolk to Lakenheath Nature Reserve, and with hobbies soaring in the background, meets nature writer Richard Mabey, widely respected as one of the leading experts on British birds.

He's also the author of Nature Cure", a book about his recovery from a deep depression, and he talks movingly about his mixed emotions at this time of year, as Spring arrives.

With poetry by Thomas Hardy, George Herbert and Isaac Rosenberg, and music from Handel to Miles Davis - all celebrating the unexpected joy birds can bring.

Mark Tully considers the spiritual inspiration poets and musicians have found in birds."

The Bullying Circle20091025
The Martyrs Of Charterhouse Square20100717

Mark Tully tells the remarkable story of the first Martyrs of the English Reformation.

He visits the centuries-old Priory near London's Smithfield meat market and, in the company of the current Master of Charterhouse, uncovers a hidden history with a contemporary relevance.

Mark hears why the Archbishop of Canterbury believes that the Martyrs offer a precious gift to the whole Church.

The Martyrs Of Charterhouse Square20100718

Mark Tully tells the remarkable story of the first martyrs of the English Reformation.

The New Age of the Engineer

The New Age Of The Engineer2010100220101003

Is it true that the creativity and contribution of Britain's engineers has gone largely unrecognised and unappreciated.

If it is true, why is it true?

And is this about to change?

The Problem With Passion20100523

Mark Tully asks what the self-help manuals really mean when they advise us to discover our passion" if we want to live a fulfilled life.

Is this advice well-founded, rooted in the spiritual notion of vocation, or rather a route to self-obsession and confusion?

What do self-help manuals really mean when they advise us to 'discover our passion'?"

The Sculptors Of Peace20100227

Mike Wooldridge talks to the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

The Sculptors Of Peace20100228

Mike Wooldridge talks to the Chief Rabbi, Jonathan Sacks

The Vital Green20090913

Mark Tully explores the many-shaded nature of Green.

Mark Tully explores the many-shaded nature of Green, from green imagery in myth, literature, art and faith, to green's crucial biological function as 'the cornerstone of all life on Earth'.

The readers are Adjoa Andoh, Janice Acquah, Frank Stirling and David Westhead.

MUSIC

Music 1: Third movement from Viridian composed by Richard Meale and performed by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Available on the CD Meale: Symphony No.1, Viridian, released by ABC Classics.

Music 2: ‘Forty Shades of Green' performed by Johnny Cash.

Available on the CD 20 Foot-Tapping Greats, released by Columbia.

Music 3: ‘Rejoice in the Sun' performed by Joan Baez.

Available on Silent Running OST, released by MCA.

Music 4: ‘Introduction and Fugue (With the Fresh Sweet Herbage Under Foot)' composed by Paul Hindemith and performed by Wiener Symphoniker.

Available on the CD For Those We Love (Requiem), released by Orfeo.

Music 5: ‘(Nothing But) Flowers' performed by Talking Heads.

Available on the CD The Best of: Once in a Lifetime, released by EMI.

Music 6: ‘IV Green' from A Colour Symphony composed by Arthur Bliss and performed by the Ulster Orchestra.

Available on the CD A Colour Symphony, released by Chandos.

READINGS

Reading 1: ‘Variables of Green' written by Robert Graves.

Available in the Collected Poems (1938), published by Penguin.

Reading 2: ‘Green Sussex' written by Tennyson.

Published by Faber.

Reading 3: Radical Amazement written by Judy Cannato.

Published by Sorin Books.

Reading 4: ‘Ideogram for Green' written by Alice Oswald.

Available in the book Woods etc.

Reading 5: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by W.R.J.

Barron, published by Manchester University Press.

Reading 6: ‘Alone in the Woods' written by Stevie Smith.

Available in the book, Beneath the Wide Wide Heaven, published by Virago.

Reading 7: ‘Fern Hill' written by Dylan Thomas.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

Time Has Told Me20110227

Fergal Keane reflects on the importance of real life experience - wisdom gained not from books but from the world.

Like Shakespeare's Cleopatra, who remembers her salad days as a time when I was green in judgment, cold in blood, lack of life experience can cause us to rush in where angels fear to tread.

Or where a more mature person might hesitate.

Which is the better weapon for life?

Fergal will draw on the work of W.B.

Yeates, Fleur Adcock and the Indian writer Radhika Jha to explore this notion.

The readers are Liza Sadovy and Aiden Mcardle.

Fergal Keane reflects on the importance of real life experience.

Translation20100529

Mark Tully presents a programme on the theme of translation to mark Pentecost, when Jesus' disciples spoke in different tongues.

He talks to Bible translator Father Nicholas King about the process of translating the New Testament: what is the most impossible passage? Does it matter if people find spiritual inspiration from texts which are actually mis-translations?

The programme includes poems and thoughts on translation by Keats, A.S.Byatt, Eva Hoffman, Vesna Goldsworthy and Kei Miller.

The music comes from Allegri, John Tavener, JS Bach, and Ella Fitzgerald - Let's Call the Whole Thing Off".

For Pentecost, Mark Tully explores the process of translation."

Translation20100530

For Pentecost, Mark Tully explores the process of translation.

Understanding Prayer20090920

Mark Tully talks to the Archbishop of Canterbury about his understanding of prayer.

Mark Tully talks to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, about his personal understanding of prayer, once described by the poet George Herbert as 'something understood'.

The readers are Frank Stirling and David Westhead.

Spiritual themes explored through music, prose and poetry.

1Who To Trust?

3Who To Trust?