Poet’s Day

Poet’s Day is a holiday observed annually on August 21st, celebrating poets who have contributed to culture since the dawn of civilization. It doesn’t just commemorate the greats of the past, however.

It’s also a holiday that aims to uplift current voices writing poetry today so that more people can enjoy them. Anyone and everyone who wants to celebrate the up-and-coming poets in their lives or to encourage the next generation to put pen to paper will probably want to mark this holiday on their calendar.

The History of Poet’s Day

Poetry is an art form that has been written for thousands of years. One of the earliest poems is the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, written approximately 4,000+ years ago. Ever since, poets around the world have contributed their verses to the world’s repertoire of poetry, and that continues to this very day.

Of course, poetry today doesn’t just appear in dusty tomes stacked neatly on library shelves but also in songs, movies, and other parts of our day-to-day lives. In 1994, William Sieghart founded National Poetry Day.

He is a British philanthropist, publisher, and entrepreneur who wanted the millions of talented poets around the world to receive the recognition they deserve. He wanted them to read their work aloud in public places, he wanted students to be praised for their poetic potential, and he wanted to transform the world through poetry. The holiday has been observed ever since.

Some Interesting Facts About Poets & Poetry

Okay, this is the section of the holiday article where we give our readers some fun, bite-sized nuggets of information about the subject of the holiday. With that purpose in mind, allow us to bring to everyone reading today the following facts about poets and poetry.

  • An 1852 edition of John Milton’s Poetical Works was bound in the skin of murderer George Cudmore.
  • Emily Dickinson continued to write poetry on her deathbed.
  • A fear of poetry is called metrophobia.
  • William Shakespeare, often regarded as the greatest writer in the English language, wrote 154 sonnets and 39 plays.
  • The Japanese haiku, a form of poetry, traditionally consists of three lines with a 5-7-5 syllable structure.
  • Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, renowned for his love poems and political works.
  • The term “poet laureate” dates back to the 17th century, a title given to a poet officially appointed by a government or conferring institution.

Observing Poet’s Day

This holiday encourages everyone to try their hand at poetry, even if they don’t think they have a knack for it. It’s also a good day to encourage children to write poetry, for teachers to introduce new poets to their students, and for everyone to have a greater appreciation for this art form.

It’s also a good idea to spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #PoetsDay on social media so that more people can learn about this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
August 21 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
August 21 Thursday
Last year (2023)
August 21 Monday
Art & Entertainment, Education & Reading