Poetry should now capture the creative spirit of the human mind

21Mar 2018
Editor
The Guardian
Poetry should now capture the creative spirit of the human mind

WORLD Poetry Day is celebrated on 21 March, and was declared by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1999. Its purpose is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world and, as the original UNESCO declaration says,

to "give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements".

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

In other words poetry is literary work in which the expression of feelings and ideas is given intensity by the use of distinctive style and rhythm; poems collectively or as a genre of literature.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognises the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

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

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to 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and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

It was generally celebrated in October, but in the latter part of the 20th century the world community celebrated it on the 15th, the birthday of Virgil, the Roman epic poet and poet laureate under Augustus. The tradition to keep an October date for national or international poetry day celebrations still holds in many countries. The United Kingdom generally uses the first Thursday in October, which in 2018 falls on October 4, but elsewhere a different October, or even sometimes a November date, is celebrated.

Traditional Swahili poetry has seen a bright future in Tanzania and East Africa as the wave of Bongo Flava music, which adheres to its discipline, continues to appeal audience worldwide.

The emergence of mega stars such as Diamond Platinumz, Ali Kiba, Rich Mavoko, Vanesa Mdee and many others whose music appeals multinational audience, helped to promote the traditional poetry through music.

But a little is known about poetry writers due to lack of enthusiasm, awareness and interest in using poetry as art especially in drama. In efforts to enhance and further promote it, a certain company named Las Consultancy decided to indulge itself in creating more interest in the art by preparing one stage for different poets to showcase their talents.