Monday, March 21, 2011

World Poetry day(21-03-2011)

A short trip around the world

(via the medium of 4 Poems).

Every year on 21st March UNESCO celebrate their World Poetry Day.

UNESCO is the “United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization” – an agency of the United Nations that promotes education and communication and the arts

The decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during the UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

According to UNESCO, the main objective of World Poetry Day is to “support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities”.

From their site:

Moreover, this Day is meant to support poetry, return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, promote teaching poetry, restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music, painting and so on, support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an out-dated form of art.

Today is World Poetry day, which has the aim of promoting  the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world. Now anyone who's been by  The Parrish Lantern before, can’t help but notice that I love poetry, nay adore the stuff, so to me this is a wonderful idea, and one i had to bring to the attention of anyone even vaguely interested. My idea is to present several poets from around the world in the aim of stimulating interest.

1751 by Miroslav Holub

That year Diderot began to publish his Encyclopaedia,

and the first insane asylum was founded in London.

So the counting out began, to separate the sane, who

veil themselves in words, from the insane, who rip off

feathers from their bodies.

Poets had to learn tightrope-walking.

and to make sure, officious types began to publish

instructions on how to be normal.

Miroslav Holub

was born in 1923 in Plzen,(Pilsen Czech Republic) western Bohemia, the only child of a lawyer & a high school teacher of French and German. He attended a gymnasium specializing in Latin & Greek. After the war he studied medicine at  Charles University, Prague, working in the department of philosophy and the history of science, and also working in the psychiatric dep’t. He became an MD in 1953.In 1954 he joined the immunological section of the Czechoslovakian Academy of Science and obtained his PHD. This influenced  his many poems, using his scientific knowledge to poetic effect. died 1998.

Miroslav Holub

Silhouette by Annette M’ Baye

Behind, sun, before, shadow!

A watergourd on a stately head,

A breast, a strip of loincloth fluttering,

Two feet that erase the pattern on the sand.

                       (Trans from French by Kathleen Weaver)

Annette M’ Baye Born 1927 in Sokhone, Senegal, she has worked as  a teacher in Senegal and in Paris, was active for many years in radio and journalism.

Annette M’ Baye

Resurrection by Roberto Bolano

Poetry slips into dreams

like a diver in a lake.

Poetry, braver than anyone,

slips in and sinks

like lead

through a lake infinite as Loch Ness

or tragic and turbid as Lake Balaton.

consider it from below:

a diver


covered in feathers

of will.

Poetry slips into dreams

like a diver who’s dead

in the eyes of God.

(trans by Laura Healy )

Roberto Bolaño Ávalos ( (April 28, 1953 – July 15, 2003) was a Chilean novelist and poet. In 1999 he won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize for his novel Los detectives salvajes (The Savage Detectives), and in 2008 he was posthumously awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for his novel 2666, which was described by board member Marcela Valdes as a "work so rich and dazzling that it will surely draw readers and scholars for ages."Bolano  has always considered himself a poet, that he wrote fiction to fulfil the need to support his family, than as an abiding wish to write the books,explaining, “I blush less when I reread my poems.”

Roberto bolano

Clams by Ishigaki Rin

At midnight I awoke.

The clams I’d bought that evening

were alive in a corner of the kitchen,

their mouths open.

“In the morning

I’ll eat you,

every last one of you”

I laughed

a witches laugh.

after that

I could only sleep through the night,

my mouth slightly open.

(Trans from Japanese by Hiroaki Sato)

Ishigaki Rin was born and raised in Akasaka,  Tokyo, she joined the staff of the magazine Danso (Geological Fault) before the second world war. In the post war period, she was active in the realist movement in Japanese poetry. Her motifs were pots, the nameplate on the house, and those things people find in their daily life, the  poetry was based on common sense. Her words were the consciousness of a single female person in both the home and in society, as a working woman and an ordinary woman who engaged in housekeeping after work.

Ishigaki Rin

21st March 2011 World Poetry Day

Times Educational supplement (World Poetry day Resources)

The Poetry Archive(Lesson plans and activities for all key stages, built around Poetry Archive recordings and offering lively, engaging ways of working with poetry at all Key Stages.)

Poets convey a timeless message. They are often key witness to history’s great

political and social changes. Their writings inspire us to build lasting peace in our

minds, to rethink relations between man and nature and to establish humanism

founded on the uniqueness and diversity of peoples. This is a difficult task, requiring

the participation of all, whether in schools, libraries or cultural institutions. To quote

the poet Tagore, the 150th anniversary of whose birth will be celebrated this year, "I

have spent my days in stringing and unstringing my instrument."

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

Message for World Poetry Day

21 March 2011


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