World Poetry Day is a holiday which falls on March 21st. The purpose of this holiday is to promote the writing, reading, teaching and publishing of poetry throughout the world. It’s also a day to give recognition to international, national and regional poetry movements. This holiday has been celebrated since its inception in 1999.
History of World Poetry Day
This holiday can be traced back to 1999 – to the 30th session of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) that was held in Paris that year. This analysis of the situation of poetry highlighted the following: 1) Poetry can fulfill previously unfulfilled aesthetic needs in society; 2) Over the past 20 years, poetry has made a revival and the number of poets has increased; 3) It’s a social need which incited young people to return to their roots; 4) Poets are taking on new roles in society; 5) Poetry is part of the recognition of ancestral values and a return to speech as a means of socializing an individual; and 6) The modern media fails to take the poet serious and therefore, action is need to give poetry its rightful place in society.
Facts about Poetry
- The oldest poem is a poem from Babylon called the Epic of Gilgamesh. It’s4,000 years old
- The oldest English poem is Beowulf – written in the 8th century
- Haiku is one of the most popular poetry forms
- Metrophobia is the name for the fear of poetry
Celebrating World Poetry Day
On this day, poets all over the world share their work at universities, book stores, cafes, schools and even the Internet. It is also a day when educators and poetry advocates can take the time to share poetry with their students and the general public. And it is also a good day for people to check out their favorite poets.