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Saturday, February 12, 2005

POETRY: THE LANGUAGE OF THE WORLD

"Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread." Pablo Neruda

A beautiful way to spend the evening: In the company of poets.
Tonight was the World Poetry Gala at the Public Library. It was a free event, celebrating the mulitcultural poets in this city, as well as poets around the world. Awards were being given for various achievements, including the World Poetry Lifetime achievement Award which was given to an African-Canadian poet/actress and the World Poetry Ambassador's award which was given to a woman poet from the Phillipines.

I went with one of the women from my novel writing class, but I also knew a great many of the poets and guests who were attending the gala.

Opening blessings were given in various languages: English, Arabic (a reading from the Qaran), Hindi, and Qechuan and a welcome song was sung by a traditional Tibetan singer who had a most angelic voice.

There was music: African drums, a Scottish harpist, Phillipino and Latin American guitarists, and a pianist who sang a beautiful love poem.

And, of course there was the poetry.

All the members of the World Poetry group were dressed in their traditional costumes. The founders and hosts spoke both in Spanish and English. In closing, a poem was read in English/Spanish and then each of the members of the group came up and said something about Canada in their native language.

It was a beautiful way to spend a Friday evening after a day at home writing. Although the weather was gorgeous today, I had made up my mind to stay in and write, and I did manage to do a little before it was time to head downtown.

I always enjoy the company of poets. I don't often write poetry myself, but I'm sure if I went to more of the poetry readings I would get inspired to do so.

Tonight I saw my friends from the Pandora's Collective (check out their website: www.pandorascollective.com )
who were also getting an award for all the fine achievements they are doing with young poets in the city. They've asked me to come onto the Pandora's Collective Board. I'm thinking about it.
It's good to get involved and these are some very dynamic women.

"Touched by poetry, language is more fully language and at the same time is no longer language: it is a poem." Octavio Paz

1 comment:

Sam said...

Sounds like quite a fun party - as long as there wasn't too much poetry being recited, lol.
I love poetry, so I'm just being facetious. But I'd rather read it than hear it. Unless the reader is truly gifted it's hard to recite poetry unless it all rhymes like Doctor Seus.
:-)