World Poetry Day declared by UNESCO as a day of reciting, teaching, writing and publishing poetry.
Through history, human race has been characterized by different cultural traces. On one side, human beings have shown a remarkable tendency to violence; so history has witnessed several violent events such as world wars and extermination campaigns carried out by some people or countries. On the other hand, people have also shown a great inclination to reflect beauty and darkness of human nature through artistic expressions such as theater and literature. One of the most highlighted aspects of literature is poetry. It has been presented in human history since ancient times. The earliest surviving great work of literature was called “The Epic of Gilgamesh” written around 4000 years ago.
Poetry as way of human expression
People have always loved poetry and it has been taken into the popular taste for several years. With a high number of poets in human history and recognition by organizations such as The Nobel Prize which is awarded on yearly basis, Poetry is considered one of the most important forms of art which allows people to reach a great level of comfort and aesthetic in their troublesome life.
Originally, Poetry day was celebrated on October 5th in remembrance of the birthday of Roman Epic Poet Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) who flourished under the reign of Augustus. Some countries celebrated this day on October 15th, but in some other places celebration happened in November.
UNESCO Recognizes World Poetry Day
Giving the importance of this art, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the 30th session held in Paris in 1999 took the decision to establish March 21st as World Poetry Day. It was a way to recognize this artistic expression as one of the highest manifestation of human creation. Reasons to take this decision were to fulfill the provision of aesthetic needs in society which were previously unfulfilled. The number of poets was increasing and poetry observed a revival at the time. World Poetry Day decision was also to fulfill the social need of returning young people to their roots and the new role poets were taking and have been taking in society in the last few decades. Furthermore, other reasons to establish World Poetry Day were the recognition of poetry as part of ancestral values and also as a return to ‘speech’ as a means of socializing. Additional reasons were to give this expression of art its rightful place in society.
Events are held worldwide on World Poetry Day since the year of recognition of this art form. Poetry readings occur in cafes, schools, bookstores, universities, and even Internet. Also, the promotion of teaching poetry and the relation of this art with other artistic expressions such as theater, dance, music, and painting is an important activity done on this day.