L.W. Young Junior High School joined poets around the world on Monday, March 21, in celebration of World Poetry Day 2022, held under the theme: “Poetry: An Experience of the Soul”.
Under the school’s new pavilion, students and teachers celebrated the day by sharing their creative abilities through poetry, recitals, music, choral speaking and languages.
The United Nations’ Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) founded the day in 1999 during its 30th General Conference in Paris. The day is set aside to “honor poets; revive oral traditions of poetry recitals; promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry; foster the convergence between poetry and other arts such as theater, dance, music and painting; and raise the visibility of poetry in the media”.
Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training Glenys Hanna-Martin told the students that poetry begins with a blank page, for which they are the architects, and likened it to the construction of a building.
“Like a building, a poem is crafted in the imagination; it is polished, painted, but words are used as the raw material for the construction. The end product is a beautiful piece of art. The creative imagination is a place for freedom. Freedom – an unending expanse. Your creative imagination has no boundaries and it belongs exclusively to you.”
Hanna-Martin urged the students to find their place of freedom in their creative imagination and tap into their creative energy to inspire, touch, move and excite the human spirit.
C. V. Hope Strachan, ambassador and permanent delegate to UNESCO, who gave remarks on behalf of Director of UNESCO’s Cluster Office for the Caribbean Saadia Beatriz Sanchez-Vegas, received applause for the poem which she wrote and shared, titled, “UNESCO and You”.
“UNESCO is an organization that fosters peace and gives us hope.
We recognize that students need help to cope
With poverty, peer pressure, bullying and lost school time
“Brought on by Hurricane Dorian, the pandemic and even crime.
“UNESCO is here to ensure that with education, science and culture, you are all equipped for a bright future.
“So, you, students, the sky is the limit, do not despair
Let us all work together to get you there.”
Other presentations included “The Words I Speak”, written and presented by Bodine Johnson, education officer; “I am a Bahamian”, written by James Catalyn and presented by seventh-grade students; “We Declare Peace”, by Javan Dean; “Figures of Speech”, by ninth-grade students; “My Town, My People”, a poem in Spanish written by Dr. Sharon Parker and performed by eighth-grade student Kelissa Marcellin; and “Pages of Life”, written by Myeesha McPhee and recited by Anastacia Clarke and Thomeo Bastian, ninth-grade students.