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Athens celebrates World Poetry Day

Athens, decided to celebrate this day with a rather original way. Throughout the day, train, tram and metro commuters will have the chance to enjoy poetry.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

Athens, decided to celebrate this day with a rather original way. Throughout the day, train, tram and metro commuters will have the chance to enjoy poetry. The voices of famous poets, such as Ritsos, Gatsos,, Dimoula, Elytis, Cavafys and Seferis, will be heard reciting their own poems in all 65 train, tram and electric railway stations.

A decision to proclaim 21 March as World Poetry Day was adopted during UNESCO’s 30th session held in Paris in 1999.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day is also meant to encourage a return to the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and the other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so that the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

Syntagma and Monastiraki squares downtown Athens will be transformed at noon today into performance areas, where famous actors will recite poems accompanied by musicians.

Added to that, several bookstores in the city center, will also hold poetry events starting today. Polis Art Cafe will hold an event to celebrate this unique day at 6 in the afternoon, while the Spanish Embassy will hold a “Spanish Poetry” event at the Abanico Cultural Center. Moreover, an “Albanian poetry” night will be held next Monday at the Athens Cultural Center.