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“Arranged in words, colored with images, struck with the right meter, the power of poetry has no match. As an intimate form of expression that opens doors to others, poetry enriches the dialogue that catalyzes all human progress, and is more necessary than ever in turbulent times.” We can do all that on World Poetry Day, on March 21. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) founded this day in 1999. Poetry uses rhythms and imagery to elicit emotion and the imagination of the reader. Poetry can rhyme, using what are called meters of long and short syllables. Some poetry, written in what’s called ‘free verse,’ doesn’t employ rhyme or meters. Poems are broken into stanzas, which are like paragraphs, and can be up to 12 lines long. We believe the first known poem appeared 4,000 years ago in Babylon.
World Poetry Day 2023: History
Poetry is a beautiful form of expression. No other type of literature creates such a plethora of feelings and emotions as the abstraction of poetry. The earliest poetry is believed to have surfaced with the “Epic of Gilgamesh” some time during 2000 B.C., but it is likely that poetry existed even before the spread of literacy. Different types of poetry have trended during different eras, and undergone transformations. From sonnets to rap lyrics, the core purpose of poetry remains the same — to explore the human condition and invoke emotion through words. Poetry resonates with the existential dilemmas of mankind, exhuming ideas from deep within.
World Poetry Day is celebrated every year on March 21, celebrating a linguistic expression that people from all cultures can identify with. Poetry can be found in the history of every nation, and brings us together under shared values and common humanity. The most basic of poems have the power to stir dialogue.
According to the announcement made in the 30th General Conference session of UNESCO that was held in Paris in 1999, 21 March will be celebrated as a World Poetry Day every year throughout the world. The world leaders claimed that they recognize the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind, therefore they believe that an International Day must be allocated to this great human legacy. The purpose of allocating a day to poetry was to encourage young poets and to appreciate the role of poetry in the development and enlightenment of the world.
Purpose of World Poetry Day 2023
Poetry is a form of language that is understood by all, even if one doesn’t speak the language. Many famous poets are known to teach people the way to see the world around them. It is an art form which inspires any individual to change his perception towards life. What a person might not understand from a simple sentence, poetry allows to do that.
Schools, colleges, organizations, publishers, and poets from all over the world celebrate this day. Many poets come together and organize small gatherings to read poetry, teach the art of writing poems, and spread awareness of poetry to the public in general. While schools, colleges, and other educational institutes hold poetry competitions for their students.
If you want to celebrate World Poetry Day, all you can do is either read poems of well-known poets or simply attempt to write one.
5 Inspiring Poetry Quotes From The Best Lines Of Literature
- “I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by…”
‒ Robert Frost, ‘The Road Not Taken’.
- “Hope is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all -”
‒ Emily Dickinson.
- “When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st.
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.”
‒ William Shakespeare, ‘Sonnet 18’.
- “Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.”
‒ Langston Hughes, ‘Dreams’.
- “O thou unlucky one,
With the thunder flame of pain
Ignite your own heart,
And let it burn alone.”
‒ Rabindranath Tagore.
Interesting Activities on World Poetry Day
- Buy a good poetry book that you like
- Explore the best poetry you feel you would enjoy
- Read it intensively
- Share it with friends
- Give an attempt to write your emotions the way the poet has written
World Poetry Day Quiz 2023
1. Which poet wrote the poem ‘Tell all the truth but tell it slant’?
2. Which 92-year old US poet, a grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, was the partner of visual artist and writer Joe Brainard, collaborating with him on books like Sung Sex and The Champ?
3. Who wrote the poem, based on Red Riding Hood, which opens with the following lines ‘As soon as Wolf began to feel/ That he would like a decent meal’?
4. ‘Oh you may not think I’m pretty/ But don’t judge on what you see…’ Who or what speaks the above opening line, taken from a poem in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone?
5. Which Dr Seuss poem opens with the lines ‘The sun did not shine /It was too wet to play’?
6. Fill in the missing word in the opening lines of ‘On the Ning Nang Nong’ by Spike Milligan: ‘On the ning nang nong/ Where the ___ go bong’.
7. Who wrote the poem ‘The Words of Poems’, which starts with the lines ‘The words of poems are nails/ Which tack the wind to a page’?
8. Which poem by Ted Hughes opens with the lines: ‘Call her a fish/ Call her a girl’?
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE GREAT TO START, BUT YOU HAVE TO START TO BE GREAT.”
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