The commemoration may not be as grand as other festivities, but World Poetry Day has been annually observed every 21st of March since 1999.
March 21st was officially marked as World Poetry Day by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) during its 30th session held in Paris, France in 1999.
“Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings,” the UNESCO official website says.
“Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures,” the website adds.
Since the 50s, many countries have been celebrating this holiday on different dates, while other countries observe it every October.
“By paying tribute to the men and women whose only instrument is free speech, who imagine and act, UNESCO recognizes in poetry its value as a symbol of the human spirit’s creativity,” said UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova.
“By giving form and words to that which has none – such as the unfathomable beauty that surrounds us, the immense suffering and misery of the world – poetry contributes to the expansion of our common humanity, helping to increase its strength, solidarity and self-awareness,” she added.
With a cacophony of differing opinions, text-speak jargons, and seemingly endless distractions in our now ever-growing digital world, poetry reminds us that a literary breather may be just what we need.
Happy World Poetry Day from Xlibris!