Appreciating World Poetry Day

Poetry has had the ability to speak to people of all backgrounds, religions, political affiliations and beliefs for decades, never failing to provide individuals with the strength they need to find light in darkness. Even in the most difficult times in your life, poetic sounds have the power to not only challenge where you are in your current life stage, but to also allow for profound self-reflection.

The rhythm of the tongue brings wordless music in the air, creating a way for us to explore what our purpose is in this life we call our own. As March 21st was World Poetry Day, the below is some of the most awe-inspiring, stunning verses that force us to challenge our routines, what we think is correct or appropriate and most of all, the importance to never stop questioning or moving forward in our lives.

These words continue to possess a very real, intense power which springs from physical paper that transcend into the humming imagination of its readers from every corner on this earth.

“The weight of the world / is love / Under the burden / of solitude, / under the burden / of dissatisfaction / the weight, / the weight we carry / is love”
‘Song’, Allen Ginsberg

A foundational member of the Beat Generation in the 1950’s in addition to counterculture of mainstream American society that soon became the aftermath, Allen Ginsberg’s poetic words continue to evoke honest, raw emotions in readers that yearn for a certain type of directness. In this short portion of his poem titled “Song,” he is able to convey the conflicting emotions of love, which many of us are unable to express.

“You may write me down in history / With your bitter, twisted lies, / You may trod me in the very dirt / But still, like dust, I’ll rise”
‘Still I Rise’, Maya Angelou

Arguably the most powerful words Angelou has ever written, the poet, author and activist exhibits the utmost courage by not only challenging prose within the genre, but also speaking out to challenge the common structure of society. Her words have the ability to deconstruct concepts or notions about her character with the use of a simple metaphor to highlight her strength.

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved / in secret, between the shadow and the soul.” ‘Sonnet XVII’, Neruda

Deriving his pen name from the Czech poet Jan Neruda, this Chilean poet won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda’ contrast of the shadow and soul vs. lightness/darkness to convey how he perceives love as an entity, rather than simply a fleeting emotion or a passing feeling provides the soul limited satisfaction.