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Celebrating World Poetry Day

Written by Dee Nessling


“Poetry is a deal of joy, pain, and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.” -Khalil Gibran


In the same way that art exists as an outlet for the creative mind, uniting and resonating with people all across the globe, so too does poetry touch our hearts. Today, on the 21st of March, we celebrate World Poetry Day, a time to uplift poets and their works.


But what is World Poetry Day? World Poetry Day was founded in 1999 by The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to raise awareness of local and international poetry movements, as well as promote linguistic diversity. Poetry has existed as such a cornerstone of literature all around the world for millennia, and today serves as a way to commemorate and celebrate its many successes.


I’ve been reflecting this week on the subject of poetry. As a creative writer, I’ve dabbled in the medium a few times over the years – in fact, the earliest creative piece I can recall creating was a poem I entered in a contest at primary school. The best poems from my school were selected to be published in an anthology book, and to this day I still have that book sitting proudly on my bookshelf. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this poem would be the first major milestone in my creative writing journey. 


My nana too expressed herself through poetry. Every year I am fondly reminded of her when the crocuses begin to poke through the soil, old recollections stirring from her poems about the return of Springtime. Even though most of the words have faded from my memory, the emotions still remain, and I know that they will for decades more to come.


In the spirit of sharing poetry, we would like to show a poem written by our South Street Kids group for last year’s I.P.S.W.I.C.H Showcase, encouraging people to foster kindness within their community. 


A poem written out with an illustration of a dove over a blue and yellow heart in the top right corner and hands holding peace signs in the bottom right corner. the text reads as follows: HOPE NOT HATE, Hope Not Hate, Spread the colours of the world, Hope Not Hate, Everyone deserves to be heard, Good morning to your neighbour, Goodnight to your friends, We will meet again, until the day ends. Hope not hate, Spread the positive vibes, Hope not hate, Spread the truth not lies, Donate to the poor, Let's be better than before, Become a greater community growing more and more. Hope not hate, United as one, Hope not hate, Lets all have fun, Believe it together, Whenever Wherever, Stand side by side, Never give up, Hope not hate, Bring each other up, Hope Not Hate. By Tarah and Prathika 2023

Poetry can be so personal - a deep and lasting connection to our loved ones. It can link us to meaningful places from our past, and likewise to places we’ve never been. To nature, to culture, and to events. It connects us to our past and to our future, and I feel that we can all take some level of comfort in that. 


It’s human nature to share our experiences with others. That’s why UNESCO encourages the creation and sharing of poetry on this day. We hope you all make meaningful connections through the literature you read and share with the world. Whether you spend today re-reading old favourites, or branch out looking for fresh works, or perhaps you take a chance on starting that new masterpiece you’ve been thinking about, we wish you all a wonderful World Poetry Day.


The Ipswich Arts Association is currently showcasing poetry from the Suffolk Poetry Society. To explore some of their works, you can visit their website here. 


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