World Poetry Day
Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.
Why is World Poetry Day important
World Poetry Day is an occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music, and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.
One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music, and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.
How to observe World Poetry Day
Poetry exercises work as prompts to help you write a poem or play with a poetic technique. This makes them a great way to learn about poetry and practice your skills. A few poetic exercises you could try today include:
- Write word lists – Sometimes you just want to play with words. Try creating lists of words or phrases linked by a theme (e.g., wind, blow, gust, storm, breeze) or a sound (e.g., Curious cats can’t can-can). As well as testing your vocabulary and trying out poetic techniques, this can produce interesting combinations of words that you could use in a poem.
- Create a blackout poem – How about a poem where you don’t write a single word? To do this, take a page of text (e.g., from a magazine you don’t want anymore) and use a pencil to underline your favorite words and phrases. You can then use a marker or ink to blackout the rest of the text. This will leave the words you underlined before, forming a poem out of the old text.
- Write a personal history poem – Go online and look up the day you were born. Pick a couple of notable events from that day and use them as a jumping-off point for writing a poem. Think about how the events relate to your own life or what they mean to you personally.
The key is to experiment! Use prompts and exercises to try out different poetic styles and techniques. This will help you broaden your poetic horizons.
In order to celebrate today effectively, here is a list of resources you can use to make the day special – or to plan ahead
- UN and other international NGO
- Non-Profits website for the observance