In observance of World Poetry Day 2018, the Rights of The Child Commission (RCC) conducted a Child Rights and Poetry Workshop at the Herdmanston Lodge, today. Students and teachers from ten schools across Georgetown and Region Four participated.
The workshop is also linked to the Commission’s mandate of Child and Human Rights.
According to CEO of the Rights of the Child Commission Amar Panday, the exercise forms part of an effort to assist teachers and students gain a better insight into works of Guyanese poets
“Today is a day where we will be analysing poetry particularly from Guyanese authors and to see the connection between poetry and the notion of human and child rights. We will be examining a number of poems that relate specifically to childhood and how we could use the instructions or the message of those poems to foster, and to inculcate human and child rights in Guyana,” Panday relayed.
Also present was the Commissioner sitting on the Rights of the Child Commission and the Women and Gender Equality Commission, Nicole Cole. She noted her delight, “I am happy with the poetry recited by the persons here today. I am heartened that the schools are here and I wish success to all the youths here because they are the future. This tells the creative ability of our young people, a talent we should continue to nurture through the passage of time.”
Minister of Public Service and former Minister of Education Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine read one of his own poems reflecting his thoughts on this form of literature. He also imparted some salient points for those interested in the art of poetry writing.
“Feeling is the key to everything and when you feel a feeling no need to go on about it. Practice writing indirectly, let the feeling guide your ears, eyes and nose… Do not sit down to write a poem, sit down with a poem to write, gem-bright and true will a poem be when as you write them they write you.”
One of the main objectives of World Poetry Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities. A fitting example of this was the poem “Amerindian Girl” performed in Arawak and English by Anmera Simon, a student at St. Cuthbert Secondary School in Region Nine.
After being declared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 1999, the observance of World Poetry Day is 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 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.