World Poetry Day
Today is World Poetry Day, which was declared by UNESCO in recognition of the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.
One of the main objectives of the day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.
Here, one of our Queen’s Young Leaders Dillon Ollivierre, a school teacher and poet, from St. Vincent and Grenadines, talks about what poetry means to him.
Why is poetry so important to you?
Poetry allows me to express my feelings; but I also believe that it allows me to connect to other people and to remind them that they are not alone on the journey of life. Regardless of the challenges they face, they have the potential needed to achieve their goals.
As a teacher, why do you think young people should learn how to read/write poetry?
I think young people being able to write poetry provides them with the perfect way to vent/release their emotions and express themselves. Sometimes our young people have no one to talk to, or refuse to open up to others, but they can always write about how they feel.
Writing alone frees you mentally and lifts the burden from your shoulder. I also believe that writing poetry helps to broaden my students’ minds, which will be reflective in their studies. It will push them to think, to put themselves in the shoes of others and be more in touch with their feelings.
Why do you think it is important to recognise poetry on an international level?
Poets are often deep thinkers who are able to freely express themselves, walk in the shoes of others and take their readers on a journey. They have the potential to shape the future by touching the mind, heart and soul. Having a day where poetry is recognize is a means of celebrating those who have made their contribution to the art form and encourages our young people to embrace poetry.
How will the Queen’s Young Leaders Award help you in the future?
The Queen’s Young Leaders Award has already begun to help me first by connecting me with outstanding young men and women who are supportive of each other. In the future I see many more collaborations from fellow Queen’s Young Leaders and other groups and organisations. The Award will serve as a tool to connect me with others who share the same vision of youth development and nation building and propel me to a level of leadership where I can do more for the youth of my country.