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Making Sense

Beauty, Creativity, and Healing

Edited By Bandy Lee, Nancy Olson and Thomas Duffy

Regardless of field, from the art world to healthcare delivery, there is a growing need for practically useful theory and theoretically informed practice. The time is ripe for a collaborative, creative conversation among thinkers and doers who are concerned about the larger world and our role in it. Making Sense: Beauty, Creativity, and Healing is a collection of essays and creative expressions written and produced in relation to a colloquium that tried to address these matters at the Whitney Humanities Center of Yale University. Beginning with a powerful essay on the individually and globally therapeutic qualities of art and beauty by Elaine Scarry of Harvard University, this volume brings together a diversity of theoretically minded scholars, scientists, artists, and healers. In the form of critical and reflective essays, alongside images, poetry, and fiction, this book allows the reader to experience the bursts of ideas and sensory triggers that respond to and extend the artistic installations and performances of the colloquium – and welcomes the reader into the conversation.
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From the ‘Full Moon’ to the ‘Subservient Sun’: Expressions of Beauty and Creativity in Persian Poetry and Calligraphy


by Elaheh Kheirandish and Hormoz Goodarzy1

Poetry and Calligraphy are two outstanding forms of expression that relate beauty and creativity in different forms and capacities. While poetry combines beauty and creativity through the music of words and rhymes, calligraphy combines them through the dance of scripts and lines. The two pieces combined in the present chapter are, in turn, representations of other combinations in a ‘quartet’ beyond any four items.

The first piece combines Persian poetry and calligraphy through a historical poem featuring the ‘Full Moon’ by an author whose spirit is further captured through the more familiar verses of a modern calligraphy. The historical poem is a piece by Muwlānā Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī or Balkhī (ca. 604-672AH/1207-1273CE), the great mystic and poet of greater Persia. He is increasingly better known as Rūmī, after the place of his later life and death (Rūm: Byzantium, now Turkey), rather than the place of his birth and early life (Balkh, now Afghanistan)2. The internationally celebrated ‘bestselling author’3 has left behind, in addition to his well-known poetry volume, Mathnavī-i Maʿnavī, a Dīvān or collection of poems. The little-known “Moon of Ten and Four” (Full Moon) from this collection is presented below in the original Persian and in English translation.

The calligraphy supplementing that poem captures the spirit of the Persian poet through other verses, those standing out for expressions of longing, ← 89 | 90 → including those...

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