World Poetry Day
An event every year that begins at 12:00am on day 21 of March, repeating indefinitely
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:
Take a look at our activity kit Global Learning in Poetry, which provides lots of ideas for Key Stages 2&3.
The image on this page is ‘Knit a poem’ by Chris Beckett on Flickr.com and used under a Creative Commons Licence.