International Poetry Day

Poetry is an ancient form of expression. The origin of the word "poetry" comes from the Greek poiein, meaning "to do, to create". One who writes poetry is thus a creator of history and a creator of expressions, writing styles, etc.

It is impossible to date the appearance of poetry. We can assume that the tales were exchanged and communicated orally,- considering written language came subsequent to speech-, and for that reason, there are no ancient traces.

The first poems are epics. These historic and adventurous tales allowed people to verbally proliferate foundational myths through rhythmic and symphonic speech that would imprint itself in the minds of its listeners. Of these tales, the epic of Gilgamesh (IIIrd millennium B.C), the Indian Vedas, and the Greek Iliad’s Odyssey remain the most renown.

It must be noted that poetry is not only used to pass on tales and myths. Through satire, for example, poetry is able to reveal social conflict, as well as the author's own faults. This genre of poetry used since antiquity, will live on become extremely popular in Europe, and will bring forth many poets such as Erasme, Rabelais, Cervantès... La Fontaine's Fables, is surely one to not be forgotten.
Poetry evolved tremendously in the Middle Ages, becoming structured and categorized based on the length of each line and its rhymes.

Many forms of poetry would develop throughout the Middle Ages. The Renaissance, for example, would bring the ballade, the ode, the epistle, the epigram, etc. It is only in the 19th century that the first prose poems make an appearance, and subsequently, poets began freeing themselves from fixed forms of poetry to let their imaginations run wild.

Whether it be to express emotions, make political and social demands, or simply to exercise an aesthetic form of writing, poetry holds a valuable role in literature, and in the society in which it develops. As said by Victor Hugo "Only some people have literature, but all have poetry."
It is thus on the first day of spring on March 21, 1999, during its 30th session, that the United Nations decrees March 21, "International Poetry Day".

International Poetry Day

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