Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations
The Virgin Islands is encouraged to continue to embrace its poets and poetry as it joined the rest of the world in observing World Poetry Day on March 21.
Secretary General of the BVI National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Allison Flax-Archer said the observance of the day encourages persons to understand the importance of poetic expression.
Dr. Flax-Archer shared her experience while visiting schools across the Territory and listening to students express themselves through the different forms of poetry.
“Poetry continues to be a catalyst of expression for our students and it is important that we continue to encourage this type of sharing,” Dr. Flax-Archer said, adding, “We may be surprised by some of the underlying meanings that may be shared through the sound and rhythm in the creation of our students’ poems.”
She added, “Within our schools, we have another Virgin Islands Poet Laureate so, let us continue to embrace our poets and poetry not just during World Poetry Day, but always.”
Meanwhile, Director General of UNESCO Ms. Audrey Azoulay said that every form of poetry is unique, but each reflects the universal nature of the human experience, their aspiration for creativity that crosses all boundaries and borders. This, she said is the power of poetry.
Ms. Azoulay added, “Indeed, poetry is unique in its ability to make sense of the changes affecting our world – to express sorrows, to stand against marginalisation and injustice, and to unite cultures in a spirit of solidarity.”
This year’s world poetry day was observed under the UNESCO theme, “Always be a poet, even in prose” and was aimed at supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression.
World Poetry Day was first adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1999, during its 30th General Conference in Paris. The original UNESCO declaration says the day was established to give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional, and international poetry movements.
World Poetry Day honours poets, and also revives oral traditions of poetry recitals, as well as promote the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry.