3월 21은 UN에서 정한 World Poetry Day랍니다. 시작된 가을과 함께 한편의 시를 나누면 어떨까요. 그래서 이달에 소개할 책이 생각났습니다. 정대찬 교수의 ‘시를 잊은 그대에게 – 공대생의 가슴을 울린 시강의‘입니다. 우리에게 친숙한 시들을 인문학적 설명과 함께 시읽는 즐거움을 선물한 책입니다. 저자는 독자들의 시적 감성을 다시 일깨 우고 보다 친근하게 시로 안내합니다. 이 한 권의 책으로 만들어질 편안한 시간을 기대합니다.
It’s World Poetry Day today! As an occasional poet myself, I’m a bit embarrassed to say I didn’t know there was a World Poetry Day until earlier this week. Turns out the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization are behind it, declaring in 1999 that March 21st would be a day to celebrate poetry globally each year.
What’s so good about poetry though? For lots of people, poetry doesn’t really play a part in their lives – at the most, perhaps when people think of poetry they think of a stuffy 3rd form classroom, being lectured about World War One rhyming couplets and Shakespearean sonnets.
But, as the UN says: “Poetry reaffirms our common humanity by revealing to us that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings…” which is a pretty comforting idea. At its most simple, I guess they’re saying that whatever background and culture and language you come from, poetry provides a way of explaining thoughts and feelings and ideas that maybe just don’t make as much sense in other formats. What would the Hogwarts Sorting Hat be without its introductory poem? The Oompa Loompas without their songs? And on a more serious note, those soldiers writing in the trenches certainly thought they could express their experiences more powerfully through poems; and the poems that come out of revolutions and wars and times of upheaval can give us insight into the humanity of a situation that a simple news report cannot. For most cultures around the world, storytelling, poetry, and spoken word are the key ways histories have been recorded and traditions have survived.
There’s plenty of opportunity to explore some poetry this World Poetry Day – a short walk around the city will get you face to face with a poem on a bollard or a wall with thanks to Phantom Billstickers poetry posters; a quick YouTube search and you’ll find plenty of slam and performance poetry (Button Poetry is a great place to start); and of course the library has plenty of poetry to get your hands on – why not start with Kate Tempest (UK); Rupi Kaur (Canada); or Selina Tusitala Marsh?