There is an under, always,
through which things still move, breathe,
and have their being'

Good Lord The Light
by Christian Wiman



In this special, feature-length episode, pioneering broadcaster, writer and host of On Being, Krista Tippett talks about the poem that has been a friend to her: ‘Good Lord The Light’ by Christian Wiman.

Krista Tippett has created a singular space for reflection and conversation in American and global public life.  She founded and leads the On Being Project (— a groundbreaking media and public life initiative pursuing “deep thinking and moral imagination, social courage and joy to renew inner life, outer life, and life together.” As the creator and host of the Peabody Award-winning On Being radio show, heard on over 400 public radio stations across the US, Tippett takes up the great animating questions of human life: What does it mean to be human, how we do want to live, and who will we be to each other?

In 2014, President Obama awarded Krista the National Humanities Medal at the White House for “thoughtfully delving into the mysteries of human existence. On the air and in print, Ms. Tippett avoids easy answers, embracing complexity and inviting people of every background to join her conversation about faith, ethics, and moral wisdom.”

Krista is also the author of three books at the intersection of spiritual inquiry, social healing, science, and the arts: Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living; Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit and Speaking of Faith, a memoir of religion in our time.

Krista is in conversation with The Poetry Exchange hosts Fiona Bennett and Michael Shaeffer.

‘Good Lord The Light’ can be found in poet Christian Wiman’s latest collection – ‘Survival is a Style’, from Farrar, Straus and Geroux:

You can listen to Krista’s extraordinary range of life-expanding conversations through the On Being podcast – which can be found wherever you get your podcasts and at

The gift reading of 'Good Lord The Light' is by Michael Shaeffer.

by Christian Wiman

Good morning misery,
goodbye belief,
good Lord the light
cutting across the lake
so long gone
to ice —

There is an under, always,
through which things still move, breathe,
and have their being,
quick coals and crimsons
no one need see
to see.

Good night knowledge,
goodbye beyond,
good God the winter
one must wander
one’s own soul
to be.

From 'Survival is a Style' - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (February 2020)

The Poetry Exchange — special guest Imag

If you like this, we invite you to discover our conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama - poet and host of 'Poetry Unbound' from On Being.


We talk to people about the poem that has been a friend to them.

In exchange we create a gift for them, a bespoke reading of their chosen poem inspired by the conversation. Our award-winning podcast shares these unique and powerful stories of connection with people across the world. 


We set up an intimate environment for these conversations at festivals, in arts, cultural and public spaces across the country. We also hold exchanges ‘long distance’. Our visitors come from all walks of life and we also feature well-known personalities such as Andrew Scott, Maxine Peake, Roy McFarlane and Paterson Joseph.