Northern Drive to St Lucy

Northern Drive to St Lucy
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Friday, January 23, 2009

Ways a Nation Promotes Poetry

Poetry is as old as the hills. Modern technology is propelling the manner in which this literary creative art form is being assembled, promoted and delivered in any nation that holds true to poetry. The fusion of multi-media tools in poetry is driving this evolving process in poetry at an unprecedented rate. Why? For starters, the audience is no longer seen as the passive listener to the muse but becomes active participants. The philosophy of constructivism has impacted the poetic world too. More people across nations, I dare say, are increasingly being drawn to poetry for many reasons. I tend to say this from my cursory analysis of what I see and read daily on poetry websites that span the globe. We can only give credit to the evolving nature of this amazing art form we call poetry.

How a nation promotes the sensuality of it language for which poetry is given the credit, by and large, hinges on its propensity for boosting its GDP in ways both directly and indirectly. As far as poetry is concerned, the field for doing so is wide and diverse. We have got such fields as populist poetry, performance poetry, lyrical poetry, dramatic poetry, didactic poetry, romantic poetry, dark poetry, visualized poetry, epic poetry, prose poetry, classical poetry, urban poetry, cowboy poetry, unstructured poetry, idyll poetry, inspirational poetry. Within these fields are to be found a plethora of genres. All these dimensions of poetry tap the creative imagination of the nation's people and cross over or blend the various socio-cultural and religious groups that make up the nation.

The literary traditions of nations come through their poetry. The most recent manifestation of this was played out on President Obama's inauguration. It was a very historic inauguration for the first biracial president of the USA. His father was a black man from Kenya and his mother a white woman from the State of Kansas. In my poetic eyes, Elizabeth Alexander was truly in her element. The poem she wrote and read for the historic inauguration was entitled "Praise Song for the Day" with the type of composure the moment dictated. The poem took the structure of an Irregular Ode in Free Verse. The poem contained the sort of imagery any audience could relate to quite comfortably. The sound-bytes and its fantastic metaphors poured from the fourteen units of the poem she read so eloquently. The last unit of the poem took the form of a coda ("praise song for walking forward in that light"). This was a magnificent ending to an awesome poem. No doubt, the compelling lines with their rhythmic cadence ebbing and flowing with down-to-earth imagery were the driving force behind her impeccable diction that truly complemented the presidential ambience during inauguration day. The poem reflected the soul of the nation in my opinion.

When something of value is owned we tend to use it well. We tend to put structures in place to ensure that they are accessible. The same consideration is given to all national gems to which poetry, without doubt, is one of them. Any nation that recognizes its language, literature and the cultural milieu knows that poetry is in its DNA. Can you imagine what a nation would be like without its poetry? In my mind's eye I see such a nation devoid of a soul, or a nation that has no avenue to express the feelings of the soul, and by extension its people. In a visualized comparison between a nation that embraces and promotes poetry with a nation starved of poetry, these images in my mind come to the fore. I see the deficit where there is less pleasure in its language and its linguistic taste some what bland.

You begged the question. What indicators out there would suggest that a nation promotes poetry? I see poetry embedded in the national curriculum for Language Arts for the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of the education system. I see poetry being given the sort of exposure at national celebrations, festivals, social gatherings in villages throughout the nation and of course in religious services. I see a nation being involved in activities during World Poetry Day (March 21) and Poetry Month (April). I see specific structures put in place for the nation's people to come together to hone their creative crafts of which poetry is part of such creativity. This is truly evident on the island of Barbados where we have cultural centres and to be more specific there is our National Cultural Foundation and the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination housed on the campus of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill. I see opportunities for the nation's people to publish their poetry in various media and to conduct poetry reading and poetry jams at various venues across the nation. I see poets being honoured for their artistic achievements or selected as most representative of their nation or area. I tend to agree that in Barbados George Lamming fits this criterion . George Lamming was honoured most recently by the University of the West Indies for his achievements as a novelist and poet. I cite nations with their own National Poet Laureates. In England the National Poet Laureate is a court official appointed by the sovereign. The duties of this post originally included the composition of odes in honor of the sovereign's birthday and in celebration of State occasions of importance. In the United States of America, the National Poet Laureate is to promote the influence of poetry and raise national awareness. Of course, in each of the fifty states one can expect to find a local Poet Laureate as well. Then we have got Poet Laureates given the title for their achievements in poetry writing organizations. The writer of this article is an example. Today we see the purposes served by Poet Laureates whether such titles have been conferred by the government or by poetry groups. Such citations point to the many ways nations promote poetry.

The conclusion of the matter is that a nation promotes poetry by having in place structures. These structures are designed to raise the national consciousness of its people to a greater appreciation of the reading and writing of poetry.

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Haiti Under Rubble from 7.0 Earthquake

Natural disasters whenever and wherever they occur impact on all of our lives. The Good Book says we are our brothers and sisters keepers lead by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we must do our part when disaster shows its ugly face. Any assistance, great or small, given from generous and loving hearts has equal weight. I'm passing on this information I received that Barbadians can go to First Caribbean Bank to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund for Haiti. The banking information is shown below:

First Caribbean Bank Account--2645374-- Cheques can be written to: HELP #2645374

For more information click on this link

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti.

Reading Poetry