Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Schools : And now, World Poetry Day !

World Poetry Day 

We have not wings, 
we cannot soar; 
But we have feet to scale and climb 
By slow degrees, by more and more, 
The cloudy summits of our time.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Poetry is a window onto the breath-taking diversity of humanity."

Irina Bokova, Director General 

Message on World Poetry Day 2017

At a time when the challenges we face – from climate change, inequality and poverty to violent extremism – seem so steep, the words of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow give us hope.

Those are the first words from Irina Bokova's message for World Poetry Day 2017.

Held every year on 21 March, World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity. 

Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace.

UNESCO first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

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.

World Poetry Day
credits: UN

World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.  As poetry continues to bring people together across continents, all are invited to join in.

The poet Pablo Neruda wrote, “poetry is an act of peace.” Poetry is unique in its ability to speak across time, space and culture, to reach directly the hearts of people everywhere. This is a wellspring for dialogue and understanding – this has always been a force to challenge injustice and advance freedom. 

As UNESCO’s new Goodwill Ambassador for Artistic Freedom and Creativity, Deeyah Khan, has said, all art, including poetry, “has the extraordinary capacity to express resistance and rebellion, protest and hope.” 

Nowruz 2017

"Nowruz is a field wherereconciliation and dialogue can take their roots."

Irina Bokova, Director General 
Message on International Day of Nowruz 2017

March 21, is also International Day of NowruzFor more than 3,000 years, people of Persian ancestry have been celebrating Nowruz, the return of spring and the start of a new year. 

Google celebrates as well the 21 March Nowruz Day with springtime flowers, like the hyacinths and tulips in today’s Doodle.

A combination of the Persian words “now” for new and “ruz” for day, it is often celebrated at the exact moment of the vernal (spring) equinox, when the days start getting longer, and the celebrations can continue for up to two weeks.

Nowruz is a time of joyous renewal. Visits with friends and family, a clean house and new clothes, and special spring foods are traditional ways to celebrate the holiday. 

Perhaps the most enduring image of Nowruz is gathering together with friends and family around a bonfire. People also like to decorate with springtime flowers, like the hyacinths and tulips in today’s Doodle.

Nowruz traditions

Inscribed in 2009, and extended in 2016 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as a cultural tradition observed by numerous peoples, Nowruz is an ancestral festivity marking the first day of spring and the renewal of nature.

It promotes values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families as well as reconciliation and neighbourliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and different communitie.

Persian Poetry: Omar Khayyam. Rubáiyát
Translated by Edward FitzGerald with illustrations by Arthur Szyk 
New York: Heritage Press, ca. 1946

The rich Persian poetry is an ancestral art. The modern Persian speaker comprehends the literature of the earliest Persian poets including founder of the Persian poetry and literature Rudaki (approximately 1150 years ago) all the way down to the works of modern Persian poets. 

I saw a bird near the city of Sarakhs
It had raised its song to the clouds
I saw a colorful chador on it
So many colors on its chador

Abū ‘Abdallāh Rūdakī (858–ca. 941)

Often referred to as the father of modern Persian poetry, the ninth-century Persian poet Abū ‘Abdallāh Rūdakī (858–ca. 941) 

World Poetry Day
credits: Elyx

So, on World Poetry Day, teachers promote teaching poetry, restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music, painting and other arts to  create an attractive image of poetry in the school so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art but one.


For different activities, you will find some interesting proposals on my Poetry Day post (2016) here

Poetry Day, UK


World Poetry Day is an opportunity for children to be introduced to poetry in at school (all levels). It is a time when classrooms are busy with lessons related to poetry, in which students examine poets and learn about different types of poetry. 

Students love poetry! Poetry is a good part or Languages and Literature
So here are some ideas that teachers can include into curriculum.

I love poetry. I read often poetry books. Here the reason why I'm always write 
about World Poetry Day and the importance of Poetry in our life. Poetry must be a part of children's education for the next citizen generation, women and men.
In adult life, they will be women and men of dialogue. Only dialogue can be established in difference and respect for difference. And who knows some among our students will be writers and poets.
All the Activities must be adapted to the levels you teach, of course. You will do wonderful I know. Include attractive poems into your lessons, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated from of art but one. Poetry is a fundamental expression of peace.

World Poetry Day is symbolic. We can celebrate poetry every day.
"Poetry is not a luxury. It lies at the heart of who we are as women and men, living together today, drawing on the heritage of past generations, custodians of the world for our children and grandchildren. 
By celebrating poetry today, we celebrate our ability to join together, in a spirit of solidarity, to scale and climb “the cloudy summits of our time.” 
We need this to take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to implement the Paris Climate Agreement, to ensure no woman or man is left behind."
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

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