“Linguistic diversity is one of the most valuable forms of cultural diversity. Languages, by their ability to seize the boundless diversity of the world and because they are amenable to translation, can link things that are unique and universal together. Such linkage is nowhere more powerful than in poetry. Every language has its poetry.”
Those are the words of UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura in his message on the occasion of World Poetry Day on March 21, 2009.
According to Matsuura, “this day provides an opportunity to call to mind the message, conveyed by the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005), that cultural diversity is an evolving process of expression and creation.
“Poetry contributes to creative diversity by questioning anew our use of words and things, our modes of perception and understanding of the world. Through its associations, its metaphors, and its own grammar, poetic language is thus conceivably another facet of the dialogue among cultures.
“Diversity in dialogue, free flow of ideas by word, creativity and innovation—World Poetry Day is thus also an invitation to reflect on the power of language and the full development of each person’s creative abilities.”