World Poetry Day
21 Mar 2014
21 March every year: Celebrating poetry and the power of language.
World Poetry Day was adopted as 21 March by UNESCO in 1999. It is an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities. It also supports linguistic diversity through poetic expression and offers endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
Further information is available on the UN World Poetry Day web page.
You could celebrate World Poetry Day in your school by organising readings of poems from different cultures, including from pupils' own cultures. Or investigate different forms of poem, such as the Japanese Haiku or the Arabic Ruba'i. The Wikipedia page on Poetry has various examples.
The Poetry Station has video clips of poems being read and performed. There are lots of poets included, from many different cultures and backgrounds. For example, this poem is by Hafez who lived in Shiraz (Iran) during the 14th century:
Check out this Poetry Map to find photos, video clips and written poems from across the world. It's part of a project called GPS Global Poetry System set up by London's Southbank Centre.
Divine Chocolate runs an annual poetry competition for aspiring poets aged from 7 upwards. A great opportunity to explore issues of fair trade (and chocolate!) in class. There's a different theme every year and the deadline is towards the end of April. Further details on the Divine Chocolate website. For more ideas and info on global chocolate issues, have a read through our Planet Chocolate page.Add to calendar