“The crown of literature is poetry.”
W. Somerset Maugham was not wrong when he made that statement. Poetry is the best expression known of emotions and thoughts. To celebrate this wonderful form of literature, UNESCO declared World Poetry Day on the 21st of March in 1999. Ever since, literature enthusiasts observe this day to commemorate words woven into poems and the many souls from various regions of the world who have contributed to literature. The idea behind announcing World Poetry Day is to recognize the ability of mere words that put together can apprehend the creativity and spirit of the human psyche.
The importance of poetry can certainly be determined by the practice of lulling little boys and girls to sleep with children’s poems. We remember our parents singing everyday words to us in rhythms trying to teach us everything about life and more. You may feel that was just an impulsive thing but when you come to think of it, you will realize how those impulsively put together rhymes helped you learn words and manners of speech. Poetry still serves the same purpose. It is still a medium to instill an understanding of human expression in one’s mind. By reading poems, we learned the fundamentals of language and grammar.
Overtime, the significance of poetry has diminished. In a world brimming with computer codes, the feeling of immersing in a book filled with words and rhymes has been lost. In the academic sphere, poetry has become a puzzle to be solved. What the education system seems to forget is that in the process of disemboweling a poem into meters and interpretations, one loses the sheer joy of reading a piece that lays down human emotions in a raw form.
World Poetry Day is an effort to resuscitate the culture of poetry recitals, the practice of leisure reading and to preserve the multi-linguistic verses that adorn the history of literature.
World Poetry Day Around the World
With UNESCO’s effort, World Poetry Day is now gaining much recognition across the globe. Many organizations and institutions conduct events to promote the legacy left behind by legendary poets. These events are centered on various themes to bring people with similar and different ideas closer. Exhibitions and plays are performed by literature enthusiasts. Lectures are conducted by educational institutes that educate young peeps on the history of poetry. Parades in UK are organized so folks can be exposed to various cultures and their rich literature. In India, the trend of slam poetry and recitals has taken off recently as well.
Take A Dive into the Magic of Words
Every year, events take place worldwide to commemorate the great poets of the past and acknowledge the budding poets who have much to say to the world. Special focus is given to regional poets as these are endangered languages that don’t get much exposure in the creative front. This World Poetry Day, we implore you to keep your smartphones down and delve deep into the wizardry of poems. You may not enjoy poetry but this March 21st, take a break from your usual schedule and try to understand what’s so enchanting about poetry.
Things to Do This World Poetry Day:
Although Poetry Day is not a public holiday, yet people in every corner of the world make efforts to pay respects to the legends of literature. There are things you can do on your own to help save the culture of reading and writing poetry:
- Organize workshops with your local library to spread awareness on the importance of creative expression through poetry.
- Distribute poetry and fable books amongst children.
- Host events at your home, offices or public spaces where people can gather and discuss their thoughts on literature and poetry.
- Arrange poetry recitals at your local café or lounge for people to come and showcase their work.
- Conduct meets where folks can share their favorite poems by various regional poets in their original languages to promote diversity of words.
- Write a poem and share it with a friend, loved one or on the social media.
- Encourage the young ones around you to read poetry in various languages and learn about their poets.
- Visit poetry exhibitions in your city to explore the exceptional art of composing poetry.
- Sponsor to publish a struggling poet’s work and motivate others to do so.
- Organize costume parties where participants can dress up like famous poets and exchange ideas on world poetry.
At the end of the day, the aim is to bring people closer to the art of expression through words. Poetry is a beautiful medium to display your inner emotions and creativity. To celebrate it is an attempt to give people the outlet to give their deepest thoughts the words they usually cannot in daily life.
As Robin Williams rightly stated in Dead Poet’s Society (1989), “medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry . . . are what we stay alive for.”