Happy World Poetry Day!

By Grace R. RSS Wed, March 21, 2012

 Although it may seem like every day brings a new national or international holiday to celebrate, today, March 21, is particularly noteworthy (and comes with UNESCO's seal of approval): it's World Poetry Day! As the organization's Director-General writes on the holiday's webpage,

In a constantly evolving world, a world of rapid change and social transformation, poets have a presence alongside civil movements and know how to alert consciences to the world’s injustices as well as encourage appreciation of its beauty. We can also see potential in new technologies and short messages that circulate on social networks, breathing fresh life into poetry, fostering creativity and the sharing of poems and verses that can help us to engage more fully with the world.

The Free Library is a frequent supporter of local, national, and international poetry efforts. The next session of Parkway Central's "Monday Poets" series takes place on April 2 and will feature readings by Harriet Levin, a 2009 National Poetry Series finalist, and Leonard Gontarek, who organizes the Philly Poetry Festival and wrote the brilliantly titled Van Morrison Can't Find His Feet. Poet Nikky Finney, recipient of the 2011 National Book Award for her poetry collection entitled Head Off and Split, will be part of this year's Book Festival on Monday, April 16, along with Philip Levine (April 17), Sonia Sanchez (April 18), and the First Person StorySlam series (April 20). 

To commemorate the start of spring (which was celebrated yesterday) and today's holiday, here's "Spring is like a perhaps hand" by e.e. cummings, one of my favorite poets: 

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

What's your favorite poem, spring-themed or otherwise?

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