March 17, 2006

Bloglogo2.jpgHow Free is Expression?
“On July 11, 2005—his 40th birthday–[poet Abdullah al Ryami] received a summons to the headquarters of the security services. He presented himself for interrogation the following day…His family h ad no news of his whereabouts or his condition for a week and were unable to hire a lawyer to represent him.” That’s a portion of the Guardian article by Richard Lea about the Omani poet and playwright Ryami. Says the poet: “If you say no to dictatorship and prclaim civil rights freedoms, especially freedom of expression, in an Arabic country, you are in constant danger.”

Songs of Innocence in Shanghai?
In a unusual cultural exchange, Shanghai metro will display the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Michael Bullock, and Kathleen Jamie on posters in the city’s transportation system. It’s an exchange between the world’s two most popular languages and its oldest and newest subway networks—London’s and Shanghai’s. London’s metro will post the works of Li Bai, Du Pu, and Po Chu-i. To find out which poems, click here.

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