Today is World Poetry Day!

First officially celebrated in the year 2000,World Poetry Day World Poetry Day celebrates diversity of language, efforts of small publishers, and the return to oral traditions of poetry recitals. Poetry pays tribute to language by constantly questioning and re-questioning the meanings of words and our perceptions. Using the words of the Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, poetry “convey(s) a timeless message… and always reveals the original brilliance of culture.”

Surprisingly, March 21st is also the anniversary of Twitter! This Wednesday, thus, is a day that celebrates both the traditional, orally recited, connotative word, as well as the instant, pixel-built, abbreviated word…

To warm up for World Poetry Day, here is a poem that was recently seen on the London tube, posted by the lovely on-going project ‘Poems of the Underground:’


Optimistic Little Poem by Hanz Magnus Enzensberger, Germany

Now and then it happens
that someone shouts for help
and someone else jumps in at once
and absolutely gratis.

Here in the thick of the grossest capitalism
round the corner comes the shining fire brigade
and extinguishers, or suddenly
there’s silver in a beggar’s hat.

Mornings the streets are full
of people hurrying here and there without
daggers in their hands, quite equably
after milk or radishes.

As though in time of deepest peace.

A splendid sight.


(Translated by David Constantine)


Other significant days in March:

Holi – India 

International Women’s Day

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