It is World Poetry Day 2017 and I am elated. The reason is simply because I love poetry!
As an individual growing up in a fast changing world, reading, writing and teaching poetry has been my way of escape, expression, and inclusion. You could call it my own adjustment mechanism.
Through poetry, I have been able to escape from some really unpalatable or un-understandable social realities that I could not and cannot change. I have found there, in the verses of my poetry and those of many other wonderful Nigerian poets, a source of infinite pleasure and a means of irrepressible expression that I am addicted to.
As a poet, the art has served me well. With a few lines I am able to creatively and oftentimes safely get my voice heard on issues I wouldn’t ordinarily have been consulted on. That alone makes me feel a like an integral part of the society I live in.
Indeed, the power of poetry as a cohesive and reformative tool in society cannot be overstated. For example, it is not arguable that the majority of Nigerian youths have found an escape in poetry, especially since the advent of social media which connected them to fellow enthusiast and demystified poetry art.
The more poetry became a general form of expression, rather than a esoteric art, the more (young) poets find it useful as a means of having a say.
Poetry’s power to connect people and their thoughts across physical, cultural, economic, religious, and racial borders has done more for humanity’s unity than many interventionist projects. This is why as an individual, I will continue to encourage people to read and write poetry.
On this auspicious day, I call on individuals, organizations, and governments to support the poetry movement. Nigeria stands to gain a lot from encouraging poets and their arts.
So what does poetry mean to you? Let’s have your say…
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.