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Every year on March 21, World Poetry Day is observed to recognise poetry's unique ability to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. World Poetry Day honours one of humanity's most cherished forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity.

Key Points

  • The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted this day during UNESCO's 30th session in Paris in 1999 to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increase the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard. 
  • Some countries also celebrate World Poetry Day on October 15 to mark the birthday of Virgil, a Roman poet who is famous for his epic Aeneid.



Events Description

18th century B.C

The First Book of Poems The “Epic of Gilgamesh” is among the earliest works of documented poetry.

14th Century

Sonnets are created Francesco Petrarca’s writings are some of the most famous early ‘sonnets.’


An Ode to… UNESCO marks March 21 as World Poetry Day at its 30th General Conference in Paris.

March 21, 2000

The First Celebration The first World Poetry Day is held.


The Importance of World Poetry Day in 2022

  • Written poetry is thought to have appeared around 2000 BCE with the Epic of Gilgamesh. 
  • Though poetry's form and function have evolved, its roots remain the same: to bring people together through the power of imagery and metaphor. 
  • Poetry pushes boundaries to help people understand their own experiences. Poetry is promoted as a means of communication across borders and cultural differences on this day.
  • World Poetry Day is observed around the world with readings and ceremonies honouring notable poets and teaching the craft to aspiring writers.
  • As a result, it is a day dedicated to poetry, an art form that has endured for millennia and will continue to enrich people's lives today.

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