World poetry day was celebrated at Lakshmi School with a reading of poems from various countries

Last week, the students of Lakshmi School got a whiff of poetry from all over the world. Over 200 children belonging to the middle-school, sat under the star-studded sky reciting and listening to different genres of poems. The special event was organised to celebrate World Poetry Day, as a part of the school’s project for the British Council.

The teachers and students have organised successful poetry workshops for the past three years. The objective of the event is to instil interest in poetry among students.

Poems were read out and enacted. The collection included poems from Africa, Australia, United States, China, Japan, India, England and France. The Slave’s Dream by H.W. Longfellow, New England Memories by Liza Bellows, Song of the Bronze Statue by Li He and The Hero by Rabindranath Tagore, were some of the poems. English translations of Chinese, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, French and Japanese poems were also presented.

Some foreign guests were also invited to present poems from their countries. Bretton Wall from the US, who recited the humorous ‘Ghost Chicken in the Sky’ by Dr. Seuss, said, “It was wonderful experience to listen to poems from the world over. I was able to get an Indian perspective of these poems.” Jaime, another guest called the event “an insightful cultural experience”. Australian Murray said that the event encouraged him to read more poetry. “I am not a very poetry person, but now I feel I should start reading poems,” he said.

Poetry lover Nandini Murali read out verses from the Bhagavad Gita and pointed out that the Mahabharata was the longest poem in the world. “The format of the epic is in the form of verses and they are read out like a song,” she observed. “This shows the association of poetry in Indian culture and religion from the ancient times.” Nicole, a participant said the celebration gave her an idea of the cultural diversity of the various Continents and regions. For William Winden from Australia, it was Bharatha Samudhayam by Mahakavi Subramania Bharathi that he liked the most. “I was keen on Indian poems. I also liked The Bangle Sellers by Sarojini Naidu.”

Shanon Weiner from the US said, “Poetry is a true art of expression. Inculcating it in the young minds of children will help them in future.”