Reporter : UGONNA AGU
Poets in Imo State have called on government, institutions and individuals to initiate activities to boost poetry in the country.
They made the call while speaking on the 2021 World Poetry Day, celebrated on March 21 every year.
The poets said that organising poetry competitions and equipping school libraries with poetry books could help to promote interest in reading and writing poetry.
The United Nations Education, Scientific and cultural organisation (UNESCO) at its General Conference in Paris in 1999 adopted 21st of March as Word Peotry Day to support linguistic diversity through poetic expressions.
It also aims at honoring poets, reviving oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote reading, writing and teaching of poetry and foster the convergence between poetry and other arts.
The day is equally a reminder of poets unique abilities in capturing the creative spirit of human mind and the expression of the critics feelings and questions shared by people all over the world.
Poetry is broken into stanzas and uses rhythms and imagery to elicit emotions and the imagination of the reader.
According to Willimas Wordsworth, poetry is a spontenouse overflow of powerful feelings, which takes its origin emotions recollected in tranquillity.
Speaking on the celebration an associate Professor of Poetry and Post Colonial Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Dr. Chika Okoye, said poetry, which dated as far back as man’s existence reaffirmed man’s common humanity by revealing that individuals everywhere shared the same questions and feelings.
“Poetry has to do mostly with expressions, word of mouth, how you package a sublime message in a few lines. It is an art, it’s divine, the imaginativeness of poetry is beyond reason. In fact it is fantastic,” Dr. Okoye noted.
Dr. Okoye maintained that peotry interprets life, boosts and cultivates a fertile imagination in man.
A professor of language and international studies in Imo State University, Professor Valen Obinna, described poetry as the use of languages in a very special way with so many imaginations condensed in a very short way to give ideas that could be expanded.
Professor Obinna called for renewed government attention to poetry to boost reading culture.
“We need people to be encouraged, government has to help us in this direction by making the environment better in terms of books, materials and encouraging those in the poetic world,” he appealed.
For her part, the Head of Department (HOD) English Language and Literature, Alvan Ikoku College of Education Owerri, Dr. Godfery Ogbonna, described poetry as an art of articulating sweet sounds by using manipulative language to achieve effective communication.
“Poetry should be given a special place in our schools as a subject. There should be attractive competitions in this regard.
“This is because poetry strengthens the language and reasoning power of the students,” the HOD explained.
Dr. Ogbonna also called on government at all levels and individuals to encourage the unique intellectual power posses by poets by providing them with materials for their work and also recognising their work.
The theme for the 2021 World Poetry Day is to “Recall the Role of Poetry in the Surviving of Ancient Languages in the development of the World.”