Poetry is a form of literary work through which feelings, events, ideas, and even facts are expressed. There are various kinds of poems and it is an art passed on from generation to generation. It goes as back as to the cavemen era probably. The storytellers sang their stories in the form of poetic songs, where they told about the events that happened or sometimes spoke about the future as well. They sang with pauses, which are considered as a set of lines in the poems such as stanza, couplet, haiku, epics, narrative, etc. Poetry also took people into an altered world with their imaginations. When the languages developed, scholars and poets from different civilizations have written about the kings, queens, and their kingdoms which gives us an insight into what happened in those times.

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”

Here are some interesting facts about poetry

1. Longest Poem in the World:

The Indian epic, Mahabharatha is the longest poem in World. It has about 20,000 verse lines, and 1.8 million words. People believe that this Indian epic was written for over 600 years as it is believed to be dated as 400 BCE. Mahabharatha is an ancient epic poem written in Sanskrit. It tells the story of two families that is Pandavas and Kauravas and their struggles.

2. World Poetry Day:

March 21st is observed as World poetry day. On this day poets and poems are felicitated in appreciation to their contributions towards the literary works and great poems are remembered that were written centuries before. Poems are shared all over the world to express our thoughts and feelings and it is a gift to transform our thoughts into paper sculpted with beautiful words. Hence, poems are often shared on social media that touch an individual with their personal experiences.

3. Oldest Epic Poem:

Gilgamesh is the oldest epic poem which is probably about the ruler of Uruk in Mesopotamia of 3rd BCE. Gilgamesh was known to be part human and part God and the poem talks about his ruling and the kingdom. This epic is written in the Akkadian language by a scribe known as Sin-lēqi-unninni.

4. Famous Chinese poet Li-Po Died while trying to reach Moon’s reflection:

Chinese poet who known for his wandering and drinking habit had written many poems based on court life. But he was often in a drunken state and outspoken which resulted in him being banished from the court. Legends believe that he tried to reach out to the reflection of the moon from his canoe while being drunk and drowned.

5. 15 types of poems:

Poems are written in an order of lines and each has a type. There are about 15 types of poems based on the number of lines used in each stanza. These 15 types are blank verse, rhymed poetry, narrative poetry, sonnet, haiku, free verse, epics, elegies, lyrical poetry, limerick, ode, pastoral poetry, villanelle, soliloquy, and ballad.

6. Indian Shakespeare and Prince of Indian poets:

Kalidasa, one of the greatest poets of Sanskrit in India is known as the Indian Shakespeare as well as the prince of Indian poets. His plays and poems are mostly based on the Vedas, Mahabharatha, Ramayana, and Puranas. He was born in the 5th century. His famous work the Meghdhootam is a poem with 120 stanzas. It is primarily a love poem. The poem also shows the poet Kalidasa’s in-depth knowledge of the Indian landscape, geography, the culture followed in those times

7. First Asian to win Nobel Peace Prize:

Rabindranath Tagore won the first Asian Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1913 for his work Gitanjali. It’s a collection of poetry. He has written many famous poems primarily in Bengali. He is the poet who wrote our Indian national anthem in Bengali originally which was later translated to Hindi by the Indian constituent assembly.

8. Poetry is a form of expressing emotions:

Poems are usually an expression of emotions. The thoughts and feelings that are felt and observed by an individual or a poet are put into words, describing the situation, process, view, or sometimes just an inner feeling. Anything can be written in a poem, but what stands out is the one, that truly brings a change, makes the reader feel and recognize the thoughts behind the poem.

9. Poetry brings history to life:

Today we know a lot about what happened thousands of years ago and how civilizations were built and developed. All those pieces of information have reached us, is because of the literature that scholars have written since ancient times. Most of the ancient literature has been written in the form of poems. These poems have been passed on through generations and have been preserved. Many of them are discovered recently and are under study. Although poetry can be imagination too, some are facts that are researched deeply to confirm facts from other sources as well.

10. Poetry helps in communicating science:

Everyone is an expert in something and their knowledge may go deep. Poetry is a form of reaching a larger audience and scientists, scholars and educationists wrote poems through which they communicated to the common man about various truths of science. For example, there are various poems written by poets to express the environmental changes happening and how we have to save our resources.

Here is one such excerpt about global warming written by Jane Hirshfield, in 1953.

“When his ship, first came to Australia,
Cook wrote, the natives
Continued fishing, without looking up.
Unable, it seems, to fear what was too large be comprehended.”

In the World of literature, Poetry has always been an expression of words and feelings combined. People who have an interest in poetry have enjoyed poems in different languages as India is a country with 22 languages as per the latest constitution. 21st March of every year is observed as International Poetry Day. On this day, all the great poets and their poems are recognized and appreciated with awards and prizes. New budding poets are encouraged. People all over the world share their poems or any of their favorite poetry written by someone else or a famous poet to show their admiration.

Do you have a favorite poem, which means a lot and is something very close to your feelings? Do share it in the comments and let us also enjoy and appreciate it.

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