Thursday, March 21, 2013

#Poetry: Keeping It Alive For Future Generations

Ink jar and quills
By: Charles Standford

March 21

World Poetry Day

Happy World Poetry Day! World Poetry Day was declared an international holiday on March 21, 1999 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It purpose is to promote writing, publishing, reading and teaching poetry internationally. 

Ms. Irina Bokova, the General Director of the UNESCO stared in her address today, 

"Poetry is one of the purest expressions of linguistic freedom. It is a component of the identity of peoples and it embodies the creative energy of culture, for it can be continuously renewed. The power of poetry is transmitted from generation to generation, in the hallowed texts of great authors and in the works of anonymous poets. We are duty bound to transmit this heritage - the legacy of Homer, Li Bai, Tagore, Senghor and countless others - for it bears living witness to the countless diversity of humanity.  We, in turn, must tend it to bear fruit, as a source of linguistic wealth and dialoque."

You can learn more about International Poetry Day at

Poetry is a great way to express your inner emotions that are hard to articulate. They are also a great writing tool to use when you are trying to dig deeper into your characters. You can feel the heart and soul of your characters if you write a poem from their perspective. 

Writing poetry can be used to heal emotionally. Poetry allows you to dig deep into your innermost thoughts where you are forced to confront your emotions. It can be a painful experience but once it's on paper there is a cathartic release. The pain, joy, and any other emotion you were hiding now resides on the paper and not in your heart. Once you have it on paper you can burn the paper as a response that you are letting go of the pain. I have done this several times. 

In honor of International Poetry Day I would like to share with you one of my favorite poems from my new book, Reflections: Poems and Essays

I wrote this after my Grandmother Carr died. 


The thought of death doesn’t elude me
As I sit upon the hard, cold ground
Just beside your tombstone
Beckoning my sorrows
I never thought this day would come

Life without you, Grandma
Seems so unbearable
Why did you leave me?
Memories of the joyous days
we shared fill my mind
The past my friend
The future without you, my enemy.
Oh how I will miss your
 Laughter, wisdom, and love.

My heart cries with sorrow!
Who will sing to me the songs of long ago?
Who will listen to my stories?
Who will share a strawberry shake with me?
Who will I confide my secrets to?
Now that you are gone?

Grandma, Oh Grandma!
You taught me life-long lessons
And showered me with unconditional love
You laid the foundations of my faith
And taught me to chase my dreams

A world without you
How can I go on?
My guide and friend
Blessed by all who called you their grandmother
You possessed a gentle heart
Kind spirit and unyielding faith
Mourned by many
Yet only a few truly knew you

You, my gracious wise grandmother
Rest with the angels now
Reconnected with those who have gone on before you
Never forgotten and always loved

I shall be the woman you want me to become.
Never forgetting you 
or the lessons you have taught me
Grandma, O Grandma
Your time has come. 

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