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World Poetry Day 2023: History and Significance

World Poetry Day 2023

21 March, 2023 is celebrated as World Poetry Day 2023. Every year on March 21, people throughout the world celebrate World Poetry Day to honour an expression of language with which they can all identify. Every country’s past contains poetry, which unites people through shared humanity and values. Even the most simple poems can spark conversation.

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The theme of World Poetry Day 2023 is “Always be a poet, even in prose.”

World Poetry Day 2023: Why Poetry?

Poetry is a lovely medium for expression. The abstraction of poetry produces more feelings and emotions than any other genre of literature. Although it is thought that the “Epic of Gilgamesh” dates back to around 2000 B.C., poetry probably existed long before literacy was widely practised. Various forms of poetry have evolved over time and have followed fashion. The basic goal of poetry, whether it be in sonnets or rap lyrics, is to examine the human condition and evoke emotion. Poetry evokes thoughts from deep within and resonates with humanity’s existential questions.

World Poetry Day 2023: Background and History

  • In 1999, during its 30th General Conference in Paris, UNESCO suggested and established the day to “provide fresh recognition and energy to national, regional, and international poetry movements.”
  • By this day, the group sought to promote poetry appreciation around the globe, protect endangered languages, and encourage poetic expression.
  • Writers from the past and present are celebrated, and oral poetry recitation customs are reintroduced.
  • Poems are encouraged to be read, written, and taught, and they are often combined with other forms of expression like music, dancing, art, and more.
  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established World Poetry Day in 1999 with the mission of “promoting linguistic diversity via poetry expression and expanding the possibility for endangered languages to be heard.” It is observed on March 21.
  • As stated in the original UNESCO proclamation, its goal is to “provide fresh recognition and energy to national, regional, and international poetry movements” in addition to promoting the reading, writing, publishing, and teaching of poetry around the world.
  • In the 20th century, the world community chose to observe it on October 15th, the birthday of Virgil, the Roman epic poet and poet laureate under Augustus.
  • It was traditionally observed in October. In many nations, it is still customary to celebrate National or International Poetry Day on the third Sunday in October.
  • The first Thursday in October is traditionally observed in the United Kingdom, while other countries may observe a different October date or even a November date on occasion.

Because PEN International officially proposed it after Tarak Günersel’s presentation at the 1997 Congress in Edinburgh, with the support of PEN Turkey and Melbourne PEN, World Poetry Day UNESCO now has it on the calendar. (Gülseli Inal et al. and Tark Günersel started the Poetic Space Lab in 1996.

International Day of Happiness 2023 celebrates on 20 March

World Poetry Day 2023: Significance

The 100th birthday of the renowned Macedonian poet, author, literary translator, and linguist Blae Koneski was commemorated on World Poetry Day in 2021 at the UNESCO offices in Paris. The Golden Wreath Prize of the Struga Poetry Evenings for 2021 was also announced at the same time, going to British poet Carol Ann Duffy.

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