What is world poetry day?
The 21st March has been declared by UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as World Poetry Day, and is a worldwide celebration of poetry. The day is dedicated to drawing attention to the diversity of expression, and the raw emotions we, as people, all share despite our different languages and cultures.
Poetry allows for the expression of thoughts and feelings in a unique way and World Poetry Day exists to celebrate this variety of expression.
In 1999, it was decided that the 21st March would be a day of celebration for poetry and the literary expression it allows. To celebrate poets, linguistics and to promote the reading, writing and creation of poetry from all cultures across the world.
It was also devised in an effort to encourage the performance of poetry as an art form, reviving the oral tradition of poetry recital. Many forms of poetry are designed to be read aloud; with the rhythm the poems’ structure creates providing a depth to the text that is often lost.
Why does it matter?
The UNESCO exists to encourage education and expression. They seek to create peace through knowledge and understanding, encouraging international cooperation in science and the arts.
In terms of World Poetry Day, they believe that by listening to the poetic expression of the world, we will come to see that we are not so different. That we feel the same things and express them in a myriad of ways. And that by coming to understand the poetry of the world, we can come that much closer to a deeper understanding of each other.
Poetry has the power to reflect the feelings and experiences of the world in a unique way, and so acts as a uniquely powerful tool for understanding each other and expressing ourselves.
“Arranged in words, coloured with images, struck with the right meter, poetry has a power that has no match. This is the power to shake us from everyday life and the power to remind us of the beauty that surrounds us and of the resilience of the human spirit.”
— Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, 2020 World Poetry Day
What can I do?
Taking part in World Poetry Day is easy. Read, write, and listen to poetry. The day is designed to encourage you to seek out poetry and get together in celebration of the voices that exist around you. Why not go online and listen to the poetry that exists out there? Look for local recitals and clubs. Celebrate in your own way! It’s all expression through the poetic arts, so join in the observance however you want to take part!
With the internet as intrinsic to our modern lives as it is now, you’re never far from the voices of the world, so this World Poetry Day I encourage you to scour the web and listen!
Thanks for Reading!