World Poetry Day

Today we celebrate UNESCO’s World Poetry Day, recognizing poetry as cultural heritage and “the song of our deepest feelings.” For many years, I found poetry difficult to read. As a painfully logical thinker, I like to “get to the bottom” of things, and the best poems have no bottom. The longer I live in this world, however, the less I need to find a singular reading. Each time I listen to these three poems, they activate new strands of thought, passion, meaning and commitment. Since I have not yet exhausted what I can get from these, perhaps others would like to join me in making meaning through listening to these poets speak their truth.

Since corporations are a preoccupation of this blog, I start with one of my favorite poems on that topic:

I first saw this clip about a year ago when I had the good fortune to attend a small workshop on poetry for social change. I’ll never say what a poem is “about,” but his relationship to his voice and the need to speak still takes my breath away:

Finally, this piece takes a well-worn word and allows me to hear it anew, one of the most important words that should always be a living act, not just a political buzz-word. There is so much power in this 2-minute performance, it makes everything seem possible:

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