World Poetry Day History
World Poetry Day seeks to promote linguistic diversity and expression through poetry. The day also serves to encourage poetry, promote its teaching and support publishers involved in its dissemination. Poetry is a type of artistic expression that emphasizes feelings and ideas by using different styles and rhythms. The United Nations believes that poetry is an affirmation of our common humanity and proves that all humans everywhere share the same questions and feelings.
World Poetry Day was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999 in an effort to support creative expression and endangered languages. It is celebrated annually on March 21st.
World Poetry Day Facts & Quotes
- The oldest love poem in the world was written on a clay tablet during the Sumerian times, which was around 3500 BC.
- Despite having his work as a playwright praised most, William Shakespeare also wrote several poems that have been equally well received, studied and analyzed for centuries by academics and people alike.
- Poetry slam was started by poet Marc Smith in 1986 at a Chicago Jazz Club. It is typically scored on a scale of 1-10 by a panel of judges.
- Mahabharata is the longest poem in the world. The Indian epic poem contains about 1.8 million words.
Poetry is truth in its Sunday clothes.– Joseph Roux, French priest and poet
Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.
In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.
A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.
One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.