In the UK, the importance of poetry is celebrated each year in October. The nation-wide observance of National Poetry Day on 3rd October, will include all novice and veteran poetry enthusiasts celebrating the works of the greats and the amateurs.
Centuries have passed since our discovery of poetry. Good or bad, it is up to the interpretation of the reader; but to the artist, it is “emotion put into measure” – Thomas Hardy. It is a way of putting words to a poet’s innermost feeling.
Poetry has inspired love, sadness, pain, joy, and beauty in the most mundane of things.
Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote in A Defence of Poetry and Other Essays,
“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects as if they were not familiar.”
The very nature of poetry to transform feeling and common aspects of inanimate objects gives it its uniqueness.
Where it All Began
In 1994, William Sieghart founded the National Poetry Day. Since its inception, the holiday has become a campaign that not only celebrates but promotes poetry.
National Poetry Day Today
Events are held around the UK in libraries, bookshops, and schools. You can even find some form of poetry appreciation on buses, trains, and ferries.
You can catch TV shows or tune into radio broadcasts; you will find people sharing some of the classics. There are also events held for upcoming poets that are revolutionising and expanding the word of poetry even further.
Each year, there is a theme suggested by the Forward Arts Foundation. For 2019, the theme is “truth”. On the 3rd of October this year, get inspired and engage in the celebration by:
- Reading a poem in your own time or at an event in your office, library, etc.
- Write a poem and share it with your loved ones if you want
- Have your students, write, share or read their favourite poems at school
- Share your favourite poem on social media
- Host a poetry reading event or create a display at your home, local library, school or workplace
The Importance of Poetry Today
One might wonder why we need to celebrate poetry it in the first place. It makes sense for poetry enthusiasts to enjoy it in their own time, but why the national holiday?
If we look at the bigger picture, poetry has played a huge role in society. From cultivating the arts to bringing moments of great joy and sadness.
From honouring the fallen soldiers of horrendous tragedies to immortalising one’s lover or celebrating the beauty of Mother Nature, poetry has always been a deeper and more emotional way of expression.
It allows people, young and old, to break free from norms and safe boundaries and encourages writing about what is ignored in our daily lives.
For students and learners, poetry helps build their analytical and language development skills. It nurtures creativity and expressionism in young minds and can provide a therapeutic and artistic outlet where the poetry may resonate with how they fell.
Poetry can give you the power to understand not only others but also yourself and the world around you. It can open your eyes to the magic of the unexpected and undreamt. You can find meaning in this one art form.
So please, we encourage you to explore poetry with your children and even for yourself.