World Poetry Day
World Poetry Day
March 21st is considered the ultimate day of poetry. The United Nations recognized this date as World Poetry Day to help promote the reading and writing of poems throughout the world. Not only is poetry considered in art form, but this type of writing also helps to promote literacy. Poems continue to capture our hearts and expand our way of thinking, and many poems of writers past contain a great deal of history to them.
World Poetry Day was officially established in 1999 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This U.N. agency is primarily responsible for promoting peace and equality through science and education, as well as worldwide cultural appreciation. Given the fact that poetry is produced in several forms from every region of the world, reading works from various countries can help promote literacy as well as cross-cultural understanding.
Some examples of different types of poems from around the world include:
- Haiku (from Japan)
- Ode (from ancient Greece)
- Ruba’i (from Persian region)
- Canzone (from Italy)
Poetry is an important venue of self-expression for many writers. At the same time, this form of writing has been utilized to create famous political and religious pieces. UNESCO continues to support this art form to promote reading and writing across the world. The first World Poetry Day was established at the turn of the century on March 21, 2000.
Poets celebrate March 21st of each year as the ultimate day to showcase their works. Libraries and bookstores often hold special readings on World Poetry Day where poets can read poetry to audiences. Some poets choose to read their own writings in conjunction with history’s most famous poems.
While World Poetry Day is one of the most popular days of the year for writers, it is certainly not exclusive to poets. Anyone who enjoys poetry is encouraged to participate by reading poems or even by creating their own works. This is an art form unlike any other, and the purpose of the holiday is to encourage celebration by all. Also, in contrast with other forms of writing, poetry doesn’t have as many rules, which provides more opportunities for expression.
Schools also celebrate World Poetry Day by emphasizing reading and writing. Elementary schools may introduce students to the structure of poetry for the first time. While the concept may seem new to children, they will likely remember the structures of some of the earliest poems they ever heard: nursery rhymes.
Prior to 1999’s designation of World Poetry Day, the holiday was observed on October 15th. This date commemorated the birthday of the famous Roman poet, Virgil. His most famous writings include Aeneid, Eclogues and Georgics. Virgil’s influence on poetry was so great that he even had an appearance in Dante’s famous Divine Comedy. Some nations continue to commemorate October 15th as World Poetry Day in lieu of the date established by the United Nations.
In the United States, World Poetry Day is often considered as a kick-off to April’s National Poetry Month. Some schools, libraries and bookstores hold special poetry-related events throughout the end of March and the entire month of April. March 21st is viewed as the start of the biggest poetry celebration of the year.
World Poetry Day Collectibles
The Ten Thousand Dollar Poem
Robert Frost - Poem Signed