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Happy Poetry Day to all. Are you into poetry? Poetry Day Ireland, is a major one-day festival of Irish poetry at home and abroad. This year the theme is "Poetry Connects". Everyone is invited to join-in, link-up, and connect through the power of poetry. All kinds of poetry-related events are taking place all over the country.

Poetry has the power to connect. Words matter: they can build bridges or burn them down. It has the power to connect friends, lovers and family. It has the power to help us look inward and understand ourselves, and the power to transport us across borders and through frontiers. It connects us with our memories and springboards us to our future. We need the power of words now more than ever.

Today in Ireland you can: visit the Zoo and find poems about animals and plants, walk on  footpaths and read poems by artists and children, visit schools and read poems by famous and not-so-famous poets, visit scenic places and read poems describing them, listen to poems by 'outrageously literate feminists',  visit libraries and listen to adults and children recite their own poems, share short poems by tying labels on luggage, railings or fences in public places, listen to people reciting their own or other poems in pubs, coffee rooms, railway/bus stations, run through the streets shouting your poems, or help make a poetry tree by adding a leaf with your own favourite poem!

There will be talks and studies of all kinds. There will be study-groups in libraries on the themes and shapes of poems and the role of translations in poetry. One workshop I've heard of  explores  forests as a metaphor for human relationships and transformations –  separating the woods from the trees! Particular attention will be paid to the difference between form and structure in poetry.

Unfortunately many are turned off poetry by their experiences while at school. Maybe Poetry Day Ireland will help to change all that for some.


the Irish have the gift of words!
and the voice to give them life
how splendid to have a poetry day!