Saturday, March 21, 2009

World Poetry Day 21 March

Poetry “designs the contours of possible forms of dialogue among cultures, histories and memories.”

World Poetry Day was yesterday - 21 March - I'm late but so what: that happens. Time flows differently here, but the delay was as much or more me as local temporal gravity. Better late than not at all. Picnic news can wait.

earth and flowersWorld Poetry Day, now celebrated in hundreds of countries around the world, probably started in the 1930s. Teachers take the day as an opportunity for a lesson on poets and their craft, hopefully not the only time in the year but once is better than not at all. In 1999, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) also designated March 21 as World Poetry Day.

In 2004, World Poetry Day honored Nobel Laureate, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda

A Lemon
(1904-1973), the centenary of whose birth was also being Pablo Neruda

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.

More international poetry at Poetry International Web (continuing the spirit of poetry as dialogue among cultures):

‘On Derry’s Walls’ by Kerry Hardie, March 2009

As for the rest, there is almost nothing to add,
not even This is how it was,
because all we can ever say
is This is how it looked to me

And more poetry in translation at Lyrik, which is the platform on the internet on which poems are available to listen to, and to read both in their original languages and various translations: a concert of verse in the voices and languages of the author

532 poets and 5000 poems in 49 languages are available by now as well as more than 5800 translations in 47 languages!

Visit another country by picking a poet from there and reading his or her work...

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