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Saturday, March 21, 2015

World Poetry Day

"Every poem is unique but each reflects the universal in human experience, the aspiration for creativity that crosses all boundaries and borders, of time as well as space, in the constant affirmation of humanity as a single family."

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

Today, March 21, is World Poetry Day as designated by no less than the United Nations. That got me thinking about poetry in my life. At first I didn't think there was much. I am not a poet (OK, there those sappy love poems when I was teenager). But as I began thinking about my life poetry began popping up all over. As kids, my mom would answer our whiney protests of "Why?" to any chores with a bit of Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade"

Theirs not to make reply,
theirs not to reason why.
Theirs but to do or die.

A habit that I carried to a new generation when I had children. When we were kids, one of the books my little brother (he's 40) wanted people to read over and over and over again was a book of poetry...well, one poem in it especially: "Slithery Dee" by Shel Silverstein. It's the poetry version of a Goosebumps book. My English teacher for my senior year in high school would randomly quote Poe's Annabel Lee in class -- quite random since we were studying science fiction! My husband loves Robert Frost while I (perhaps because I did most of the book reading with our children) lean toward Shel Silverstein.

Why do we non-poets inject bits of poetry into our everyday lives? Perhaps because it gives us a chance to be dramatic, if only for a verse or two.

To commemorate World Poetry Day why not share a favorite poem, poet or poetry story with us? Tell us about your inner poet! Or tweet about it at #WOWpoetry.

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