To honour the spirit of the Olympics 2012, 204 poems from around the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, have been collected from each of the 204 participating countries by the Scottish Poetry Library.


Here are the first ten from South America and the Carribean. Enjoy!

  1. Antigua and Barbuda: Plantain
  2. Argentina: Sidewalks of Buenos Aires
  3. Bahamas: Mangroves
  4. Belize: When a fish…
  5. British Virgin Islands: Crescendo
  6. Colombia: The House
  7. Dominica: In The Woods
  8. Dominican Republic: Find Work
  9. Ecuador: The Weathercock of the Cathedral at Quito
  10. Jamaica: A Song For My Father

The poems selected are often not by the most notable poet a country has produced. Some of them are funny or light-hearted. Often they are snapshots of lives rather than grand narratives. And some of the choices may be controversial. However, they all give a glimpse of lives in countries spanning the globe. Together these poems depict a world united not only by sport, but by emotions that are universal and need no translator other than the heart.

AmericasColumbus Day is celebrated all over North and South America on Second Monday of October.

Christopher Columbus, an Italian under the sponsorship of the Spanish Catholic Monarchs, set sail with his three ships on an expedition to find a new sea route to India. Eventually, on October 12, 1942, a sailor aboard the Pinta spied land. Children from English speaking countries rembember the day by chanting:

“In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” The ships were named: Niña, Pinta, and Santa María

At the time, Europeans were in search of trade routes to India and set forth on journeys in all different directions. Most of their journeys ended in vain either being shipwrecked by the violent seas, killed by pirates or killed by the natives of the lands they came across. Columbus was among the distinguished few who did live to tell their tales of discovery and brought unimaginable, fabulous wealth to the Spanish Monarchy and the unknown world into the maps of European travelers.

Find out more about Columbus Day