World Poetry Day I Oxford Open Learning

World Poetry Day

It’s that time of year again when we celebrate poetry in all its weird and wonderful forms. World Poetry Day is on 21st March this year (not to be confused with the UK’s National Poetry Day which is held in the autumn). People the world over will pay homage to poetry, whether this is through school events or things happening in local libraries – and in plenty of other places, too!

Why Poetry?

Since 1999, UNESCO has organised World Poetry Day to raise the profile of the form. But what is it about its enduring appeal? For me, it is the beauty of its brevity – that is, I can ‘dip’ into poetry for a few minutes if I so wish, and I will be sure to get inspiration. I can take myself on a journey elsewhere, perhaps marvel at the way a poet creates impact through words. It not only allows us to explore others’ ideas, but also to think about ourselves and our own development.

Poetry can feel intimidating to some people, but this is something that I implore you to move beyond. Essentially, poetry is the most important words, boiled and distilled to arrive at the perfect arrangement on the page. Anyone can write verse – but I am not talking epic ballads here! It can take many forms, so if you fancy crafting some of your own, here are some suggestions:

Forms Of Poetry To Look At

Write a haiku: this Japanese form is, traditionally, about nature. The whole poem only has 17 syllables, written over 3 lines (5/7/5). Try writing a haiku-a-day and think about the sense of achievement you’ll have!

Write a shape poem: think about something you enjoy, or like, or perhaps even have to revise. You could write a poem in the shape of a test-tube and revise the Periodic Table at the same time!

Write an acrostic: writing a word down the page and then a line beginning with each letter can be a fun way of honing your poetic skills.

Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, you can write any time of poem. Maybe a sonnet, like Shakespeare, or something full of funny rhyme. But remember: poetry is a skill and the more practice you get, the better. You could be on your way to being the next Poet Laureate before you know it!

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