DIRECTOR-GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON
THE OCCASION OF WORLD
Paris, March 20 (No.2001-43) -
On the occasion of World Poetry Day, celebrated on March 21, UNESCO
Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura issued the following message:
“Poetry is an age-old
art. It is the art of language, an interplay of words, speech in all its beauty.
Poetry is better recited than read.
“This is how poetry has
spanned the centuries and crossed the continents. It is a fruit of both
individual and collective imagination and, like music, dance and the visual
arts, the cement of life in society. It is all-pervasive, yet elusive. Its
apparent fragility, born of intangibility, makes it a major art, inviolate
despite the assaults of time and intolerance.
“Like all intangible
heritage, poetry deserves our full attention. For all its universal acclaim, it
is little published, still less translated. Though it lies at the heart of every
language, it is all too often considered inaccessible.
“Poetry is an art in which
language takes root and is renewed; it is a most trustworthy messenger of
culture; a unique, sophisticated witness to history. Poetry has much to teach us
about other people’s worlds, values and dreams. It is a door open to dialogue
and understanding between peoples that we are celebrating in this United Nations
Year of Dialogue among Civilizations.
“UNESCO is already engaged in
promoting the teaching of poetry in schools and supports all efforts to publish
and translate poetry. I would also like to invite Member States to contribute in
every possible manner to the enduring promotion of poetry.”
Several activities will mark
World Poetry Day. More information is available on the Website of the World
Poetry Directory: www.unesco.org/poetry
In Delphi (Greece), a major
event focusing on poetry will include poetry readings, roundtable debates, a
piano concert (March 19) as well as book exhibition (March 18 to 23). In
Santiago de Compostela (Spain), a symposium, poetry readings (notably Galician
poems) will take place in several venues, including the bars of the old town.
At UNESCO, debates and
readings, organized by PEN Club France will take place on March 22 starting at 3
p.m. (Room XVI). The award ceremony of the PEN Club’s Prix Louise Labé will
take place on March 22 at 6.30 p.m. (Room XVI) and a music and poetry recital,
entitled La part des mots, will be given on March 25 at 8.30 p.m. (UNESCO
Cinema) at the initiative of the Centre international de création d’espaces
Moreover, several Ambassadors
to UNESCO recently created an Association of Poet Ambassadors. The association
has been conceived to promote poetry world-wide. It is chaired by Amin Esber,
Ambassador of Syria.