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Culture

Calling on All Poets

Thursday was World Poetry Day. In honor of the art of creative writing, DW-WORLD invites all its users to submit the best poem they have written.

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From past to present, poetry lives on today

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of Germany’s leading authors summed up the power of poetry when he said, "Poet’s art is ever able, To endow with truth mere fable".

Two hundred years after Goethe, the spirit of poetry is still very much alive. In honor of this great art, the United Nations Education Social and Cultural Council has proclaimed March 21 World Poetry Day.

"If ever there was an art where outlines are blurred and definitions impossible, it is poetry. And yet it is instantly recognizable: poetry is communication in its purest state; it is absolute freedom of language and a place where the real, the possible and the necessary merge... We can be intensely moved by a poem that – despite its origins in a faraway place that we know nothing about – is the mirror of our own existence." – UNESCO Director General Matsuura on the occasion of this year’s World Poetry Day.

Spring and songs of love

Warm weather, blossoming flowers, birds singing – spring was just made for poetic words. And in Germany, no one is better able to capture the feel of the season than Goethe.

March, 1817:
The snow-flakes fall in showers,
The time is absent still,
When all Spring’s beauteous flowers,
When all Spring’s beauteous flowers
Our hearts with joy shall fill
With luster false and fleeting
The sun’s bright rays are thrown;
The swallow’s self is cheating,
The swallow’s self is cheating,
And why? He comes alone!
Can I e’er feel delighted
Alone, though Spring is near?
Yet when we are united,
Yet when we are united,
The Summer will be here.

Calling on all poets

To promote the spirit of poetry, UNESCO has encouraged all member nations to "open the doors of our schools and universities, work places and homes to this major, very essential art." Poetry should be a part of our day, not only March 21 but every day, "because loving poetry helps us to love one another."

DW-WORLD supports the efforts of UNESCO and invites all its users to share their favorite poems with other Deutsche Welle readers. Just send us a few of your favorite verses or your own creations, and we’ll publish the best of them on our culture pages. The deadline for all submissions is March 31, 2002.

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