Poetry has remained one of the most popular mediums of writing in literature across several world languages. The many varieties of poetry have given way to American English class standards from Shakespeare’s iambic pentameter plays to Robert Frost’s wintery metaphoric verses, and some would argue that the medium has been dissected to death. However, in recent years, contemporary poets have changed the game–National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda C. Gorman became the first poet to be awarded the title, and the youngest inaugural poet to speak at a U.S. presidential inauguration.
A Harvard University graduate, Gorman’s work rose to the forefront of the American literary scene following her live poetry reading at President Biden’s 2021 inauguration. Today, with four books of poetry for a wide range of audiences under her belt, Gorman’s work continues to encourage young people to seek out the medium of poetry as a means of expression and understanding. The United Nations shared a snippet of her reading at the organization’s headquarters in September 2022.
"I only ask that you care before it’s too late, That you live aware and awake, That you lead with love in hours of hate."
— United Nations (@UN) March 21, 2023
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) shared haunting words of surviving in a war-torn country today, written by children in Ukraine. Ukraine was invaded by Russia in 2022.
Veronika, 10, yearns for the time before the war when she was still able to play, study and be carefree. pic.twitter.com/fAuCHujWbf
— UNICEF Ukraine (@UNICEF_UA) March 21, 2023
Across the pond in the U.K., Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho paid a visit to King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla Parker-Bowles to discuss the importance of poetry’s role in communication among Gen Alpha.
We're celebrating #WorldPoetryDay!
When we brought them together, Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho told The Queen Consort how he hopes his #PoetryPrompts will inspire a love of poetry in children.
— BookTrust (@Booktrust) March 21, 2023
The past few years have seen a rise in anti-Semitic hate speech globally, and a rise of hate groups at large. In honor of today’s holiday, The Wiener Holocaust Library posted a tribute to Hungarian-Jewish poet Miklós Radnóti, whose work is maintained in their archives.
"My song, which is now banned, will be heard again, my voice"
Poetry is a powerful tool for healing & remembrance. For #WorldPoetryDay we share some of the poems in our collections
— The Wiener Holocaust Library (@wienerlibrary) March 21, 2023
Many poetry fans and writers acknowledge today that poetry has often been a medium for social change and the fight for gender equity. The Emily Dickinson Museum shared an excerpt from one of the late Dickinson’s most acclaimed works.
Celebrate World Poetry Day!
— Emily Dickinson Museum (@DickinsonMuseum) March 21, 2023
New York Times- bestselling author and photographer r.h. sin continued to share words of wisdom on his Twitter account today. Much of his work offers an introspective look at contemporary relationships.
Readers across the world took to Twitter to share their favorite works of poetry today. One user shared a unique poem about self love written by Ada Límon, who was the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States.
— Marianne (@mrnngv) March 21, 2023
Others took a more humorous approach to the world holiday, by writing up humorous or satirical poems about their pets or their local politicians.
Here's a #Florida poem for #WorldPoetryDay:
Our governor’s obsessed
With men who are dressed
As ladies instead of guys
He wants them all routed
To jail or just outed
He takes stands in high heels he buys pic.twitter.com/VtKuXyTxxT
— Craig Pittman (@craigtimes) March 21, 2023
I kwall on da mama,
And purr on her lap.
I snuggles lots close,
Cuz it's time for a nap.
— Cheddar (@FartyCheddarCat) March 21, 2023
Film buffs are reflecting on some of the most powerful or hilarious scenes in some of their favorite films that centered around poetry today. One of the most famous films centered on the medium is the 1989 “Dead Poets Society,” in which the late actor Robin Williams portrays a teacher at an all boys prep school that changes the lives of his students.
dead poets society (1989) pic.twitter.com/GGfn7JFuza
— sasha (@pridenprcjudice) March 11, 2023
On TikTok, a scene from the 1999 film “10 Things I Hate About You” in which Kat (Julia Stiles) reads her poem about her relationship with Patrick (Heath Ledger) in front of her English class has amassed millions of views, and soundtracked thousands of posts across the social media platform.
Today’s worldwide holiday serves as a reminder of hope for progress in future generations. In the words of Emily Dickinson, “hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.”