World Poetry Day Activity Sidekick

We have curated some fun additions for your World Poetry Day!

World poetry day is held every year on March 21.  It celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity. Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace.

World Poetry Day is an occasion 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 theatre, dance, music, and painting, and raise the visibility of poetry in the media.

Activities that need little to nothing!

  1.  Have residents read their favorite poems.  Get everyone involved, staff, kitchen staff, office, etc. 
  2. Put on a show.  Make it loud, dramatic, glorious.
  3. Celebrate other cultures and diversities.  Have a good collection of poems for everyone to ready.
  4. Show and Tell – invite residents to write poetry to read, have them bring an object that inspires them.
  5. Hold a limerick contest, use our limerick activity to do it!

YouTube Videos

Movie/TV Suggestions:

Bright Star

This incredibly beautiful film tells of the love story between Romantic poet John Keats and his love (and muse), Fanny Brawne.

Dead Poet’s Society

The canonical poet’s film, Dead Poet’s Society stars Robin Williams, who is an Engish teacher that uses not-so-traditional methods of teaching poetry at a boys’ school.

Poetic Justice

In this 1993 classic, Janet Jackson plays a hairdresser who writes poetry as a way to move through the grief of losing her boyfriend, who was murdered in a shooting. The cool thing? The poems are written by Maya Angelou, who plays a role in the film.

Romeo and Juliet

Although this film isn’t about a poet, per se, Shakespeare’s plays use poetic forms, like sonnets, iambic pentameter and blank verse. Not to mention, “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?,” is one of the most well-known (and oft-recited) pieces of poetry ever written.

Set Fire to the Stars (2015)

This is both a film about Dylan Thomas and a film about (and written by) the poet and critic John Malcolm Brinnin, based on his 1956 memoir Dylan Thomas in America

Leopardi (2014)

A sumptuous, swooning Italian ode to the brief and melancholic life of Giacomo Leopardi, dramatic and gorgeous, if a little slow at times.

Papusza (2014)

The full story—birth to old age—of the life of famous Romani poet Bronisława Wajs, known to her fans as Papusza, and her relationship with Polish writer Jerzy Ficowski, who discovered her. Gorgeous and affecting in black and white.

Wilde (1998)

Can’t beat Stephen Fry as Oscar Wilde. In the New York Times, Janet Maslin called it a “broad but effectively intimate portrait,” and cited Fry as looking “uncannily like Wilde and presents an edgy mixture of superciliousness and vulnerability.

A Quiet Passion (2016)

A relatively straightforward but moving biopic of Emily Dickinson starring Cynthia Nixon in the title role. “Every actor in this movie is wonderful,” wrote one reviewer. “But Nixon’s precision in portraying every particular mood of Emily—for each individual scene calls for absolute specificity—is simply spectacular.” 

Il Postino (1995)

In truth, it’s stretching a little bit to call this a biopic, because it’s more about the titular postman than it is about Neruda, with whom he forms a bond, and who, manic pixie dream boy-like, teaches him to cultivate his poetic soul. 

Dickinson (2020-present), Apple TV

Budding writer Emily Dickinson uses her outsider’s perspective to explore the constraints of society, gender and family in the 19th century in this funny, youthful comedy.

Poetic Songs:

  • Memory, from the musical Cats – Trevor Nunn
  • Cherry Wine, Andrew Hozier-Byrne
  • Killing Me Softly, Roberta Flack, written by Norman Gimbel & Charles Fox
  • My Immortal, Evanescence, written by Ben Moody
  • I’ll Stand By You, Chrissie Hynde
  • A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
  • Say Something, A Great Big World, written by Ian Axel & Chad King
  • Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen
  • Walk on the Wild Side, Lou Reed
  • Hey There Delilah, Plain White T’s