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World Poetry 2018

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted March 21 as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, “with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard.” The first World Poetry Day was held in 2000.2

World Poetry Day has provided a venue and a broad range of creative opportunities to honor poets; revive oral traditions of poetry recitals; promote the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry; foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theater, dance, music, and painting; and raise the visibility of poetry in the media. Universities and schools, book stores, cafes, and even the Internet have witnessed to the prolific works of poets and have become stages on which the creative outputs of poets have been shared.

Poetry, like music, has the power to bridge gaps, to forge friendship among diverse cultures, to create harmony. It has the ability to speak “our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalysts for dialogue and peace.”

On this year’s World Poetry Day, let us pay tribute to the poets of the past and the present generation. Let us promote this form of creative expression and “strengthen the fiber that binds poetry and all other forms of artistic expression.” Through poetry, let us bring people across continents closer to each other. Let us transform the rhymes, rhythms, and imageries into concrete actions that would, first and foremost, preserve our rich cultures and unique identity as a people, forge greater tolerance and understanding around the globe, and thereby promote peaceful co-existence, understanding and harmony worldwide.

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