Have you started raking leaves yet? Begun harvesting apples? Whatever you've been doing, treat yourself to a break around the Web. This week's edition of Saturday Sharing takes you to an amusing and informative arts-related blog, makes a stop at a poetry site, introduces you to a symphony of hands, tells you a story about the importance of dance in Arab society, highlights a film on Rumi, and uncovers a fascinating article about Haitian music.
✭ The Madame Pickwick Art Blog is among the most interesting arts-related blogs I've found, and ranges widely over its subject matter.
✭ Poetry aficionados will enjoy the Poetry Bookshop's Poetry Portal, which includes features on poetry collections, interviews with poets, poetry news, and just about anything else that is poetry-related. The online bookshop is a great place to locate poetry books your own store doesn't carry; its titles number some 90,000.
✭ We use our hands for many things, but, as the American Heart Association says, "nothing compares to using [our hands] to help save a life". See the AHA's excellent demonstration video and hear and see the wonderful "Hands Symphony" (you can choose from dance, hip-hop, and Latin music and the number of hands).
✭ This lovely video essay from the Guardian is a brief survey about the place of dance in Arab society.
✭ The 13th Century Sufi poet, Jelaluddin Rumi, the best-selling poet in the United States in 2009, is the subject of a film by Haydn Reiss: Rumi: Poet of the Heart. The film features Coleman Barks, an acclaimed translator of Rumi's writings (see Essential Rumi), as well as poet and translator Robert Bly, author and physician Deepak Chopra, mythologist and storyteller Michael Meade, and religion scholar and historian Huston Smith. Below is the wonderful trailer for the film.
A DVD of the film, with extras, is available.
An interesting article on Reiss, about Reiss' films on Rumi and William Stafford (the subject of Every War Has Two Losers), is here.
Coleman Barks is part of RumiFest 2010 in Toronto on October 23.
✭ This interview with Elizabeth McAlister, professor of religion at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, is an informative discussion about Haitian music, Voudou, and other aspects of Haitian culture, society, and politics. Also see "Music and the Story of Haiti", where you can find audio features.