#WorldPoetryDay was yesterday, March 21. Many around the world celebrated in the usual fashion of not knowing an obscure holiday was happening. Others, however, wrote poems. Some places, such as cafès or coffee shops, allowed patrons to #PayWithAPoem.
World Poetry Day began in 1999 when the the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the holiday. The purpose of the day is to encourage writing, reading, and the teaching of poetry throughout the world. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova believes that poetry enriches our lives and helps bring the world together.
“Poetry is an intimate expression that opens doors to others, enriching the dialogue that catalyzes all human progress, weaving cultures together and reminding all people of the destiny they hold in common. In this way, poetry is a fundamental expression of peace.”
Some cafès use World Poetry Day as a way to tell people to slow down and feel something. In today’s world, we are often too busy to just sit down and feel the emotions welling up inside us. Julius Meinl Coffee wants us to stop to have a moment (and a drink.)
Yesterday was not just for the amateur poets in us all. Some well known poets took to Twitter and other social media to share in the fun. Some, like Thomas Snow, wrote inspirational pieces to help thought struggling to produce a poem for that cup of java.
Of course, when you put Twitter and poetry together, something silly just has to emerge. Who knew that King Henry VIII is (was..?) such a poet?!
Unfortunately, one poet is no longer with us. Leonard Nimoy might have been famous for his role on Star Trek, but there was more to the man than the logical Mr. Spock. He was a great artist that included a collection of poetry.
#WorldPoetryDay celebrates every poet — those that are with us, those that have passed, and those that have no idea how talented they are. By exchanging a cup for tea or coffee for a poem, many think they are getting a sweet deal of a free cup. However, they are doing more. They delve into themselves, some more deeply than others, to produce something new and unique. Even if the server is the only other person to see it (though I doubt that very much.) That is the true purpose of World Poetry Day.
#WorldPoetryDay happens on March 21 every year. Will you be ready to pay with a poem next year?
[Photo Courtesy of Ceru London/Twitter]