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Celebrating World Poetry Day 2017 with Viking Direct

World Poetry Day 2017

Today (March 21st) marks World Poetry Day. An annual event founded by the UN’s education sector, UNESCO, to bring the world together in honour of the creativity of the human spirit.

I’ve blogged about my love of poetry in the past so when office supplies company, Viking Direct, got in touch and asked if I’d like to create my own poetry-inspired art using some of their stationery products, I was over the moon and replied with an excited ‘yes’!

 

Some late night blogging just in time for #worldpoetryday tomorrow. #ukbloggerlife

A post shared by Angela Kate Webster (@cosmickick) on

 

Inside my parcel, I found a few sheets of paper in grey and pink, some parchment paper, 2 sharpies, 2 paint pens in gold and silver, some half-pearl stickers, a mini canvas and easel and a quill and ink set. “Ooh” I thought to myself, “I’ve never owned a quill before.” As I unboxed my new feathered friend I envisioned penning beautiful sonnets in ‘Ye Olde’ style calligraphy.

I dipped my nib in ink, pressed pen to paper and… nothing happened. No ink flowed from the quill so I tried again: Still nothing. The third attempt sent a burst of ink up my hand, and it was all downhill from there…

After proving what an uncultured clutz I am, I reassured myself; “Poetry doesn’t have to be all about the written word” and went about using the contents of my box to create mini-tribute to spoken word poetry instead.

 

My Favourite Poet: Andrea Gibson

 

Andrea Gibson Poem Quote collage - Cosmic kick

Today I want to celebrate World Poetry Day by sharing my favourite spoken word poet with you, Andrea Gibson. Andrea’s work focuses on politics, feminism, LGBT struggles, and love. She also talks a lot about mental health, and this is where I identify most with her poetry.

When I try to describe my anxiety it comes out in jumbled words and “Argh!”s. Andrea Gibson vocalises it with a powerful truth. Just hearing it framed that way somehow puts anxiety and depression back in it’s place, if only for half hour or so. Art like this is so important to humanity. It quite literally saves lives and you can see evidence of this in the comments section of most of her videos.

One of her most popular pieces is a passionate love poem called ‘How it Ends’ and It’s the piece I took inspiration from for this campaign.

You know how a lot of love poetry is kinda corny? Well, not this. There is so much joy in this short piece, it fills me with happy whenever I hear it:

“Lover, you will never lose me to the wind, you were the lightening that made me fill my chest with candles, you are the thunder clapping to the poem that nobody else wants to hear”.

I’ve returned to this line a few times over the years and each time have a slightly different understanding of it. It’s so beautiful.

You can watch the rest of ‘How it Ends’ below. (Andrea’s poetry contains naughty swear words 😮 . You’ve been warned):

 

 

Now, in hindsight, I should have written the quote in something other than Sharpie. It kinda looks like a child scrawled it, but it’s too late. It’s done! Maybe by the time World Poetry Day 2018 comes around, I’ll have learned to use that quill and can give Andrea Gibsons words a proper tribute -_-

 

Further Listening/Watching

On loving yourself – Boomerang Valentine: “Of all the violence I have known in my life, I have not known violence like the way I have spoken to myself.”

An insanely powerful piece on anxiety, depression, and suicide – The Madness Vase: “You are not weak just because your heart feels so heavy. I have never met a heavy heart that wasn’t a phone booth with a red cape inside”.

On panic disorder – Panic Button Collector: “I think we are all part fight the flight, part “Run for your life”, part “please like like like like like me”, Part “Can’t breathe”, Part scared to say you’re scared, Part say it anyway. You panic button collector. You clock of beautiful ticks. You run out the door if you need to.”

And finally, this is a huge middle finger to the pig-men who cat-call women in the street. Specifically, Andrea’s girlfriend, but as someone who was often belittled in this way in my teens and was too shy to respond – and who even went as far as to cover up more in case it attracted unwanted attention – I hope other young women hear this poem and find it empowering – To Men Catcalling My Girlfriend as I’m Walking Beside Her.

 

Please let me know your favourite poems and poets in the comments below! Thanks for reading 🙂

 

Thank you to Viking Direct for a fun campaign (and be sure to head over to their blog to read more on the importance of writing poetry), and thank you to Andrea Gibson for being a beautiful human being (and for liking my tweet just now. I fangirled hard).

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  • Gareth Torrance

    Wait? It was world poetry day? How on Earth did I not know that??? Oh, and about the cat-calling men…. That middle finger isn’t big enough! 🙂

    • There are so many days celebrating almost everything now; it’s hard to keep track!

      Honestly, that poem is like some kind of justice for my teen self 🙂 It’s the threatening or vulgar type of comments that got to me, and from men who were a lot older than me. My Grandad used to say “Empty vessels make the most noise”. This applies to cat-callers more than anyone 😀

  • I had no idea that there was even a World Poetry Day! x

  • FussFreeJen

    I love how you went from quill to Sharpie, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with writing the words you want to show in Sharpie, crayon or quill. So be it! Your creation is fabulous, and having such a strong connection to poetry is wonderful.

    I also wasn’t aware of World Poetry day. How disappointing. But I only just had something about odd socks pass me by and women and something else…..I get lost. Hurrah for anyday being for anything I think. Poets and socks galore!

    • Thank you so much! I agree, it doesn’t matter how you show your passion for stuff, so long as you do it 🙂

      There is a day for everything now! 😀

  • I didn’t know World Poetry Day existed! I used to write so many poems when I was younger.
    x

  • Always Carry On.

    What a cute idea, and a lovely way to celebrate 🙂 x

  • Jo Wiggins

    I feel a bit sad I didn’t even realise it was world poetry day. Great effort on your creation, I love it!

  • Melanie Williams

    I did not even know we had a world poetry day, ah missed it, but great to see you getting involved 🙂 x

  • Crystal Gareau

    Wow, I had no idea that such a day even existed. You really do learn something new every day.

  • Ickle Pickle

    Oh I love the Boomerang Valentine quote – it is so true. I don’t really know any poetry! Kaz

  • Joanna

    What a lovely way to celebrate world poetry day

  • I feel sad that i missed out on world poetry day. I love the little illustration/design for the poem. xx

  • I am a big fan of poetry, especially modern poetry like T.S Eliot- the wasteland is one of my favourites. I will check out Andrea’s poems x

  • I didn’t know about world poetry day. I’m going to admit I used to love poetry at school and uni but haven’t really given it much thought since then x

  • Never know that it’s poetry day. But still I am glad that this is being celebrated all over. I like some poetry but I do not remember that authors name.

  • didnt know such thing had existed. i haven’t read any poetry since school and i do miss reading some actually

  • I do love poetry, I love trying to decipher it’s meaning and feel all the emotions of it.

    • Same here! I love how some people can speak and it will come out in an art form. I speak and sound with the vocabulary of a 6 year old 😀

  • I don’t read a lot of poetry to be honest, and I can’t name any favourites. I totally should fix this!

  • I haven’t read poetry in so long, when I was younger I used to be a massive fan though xx

  • Ayesha Farhad

    I havent read poetry in AGES! Our middle school poetry teacher was such a kill buzz that I have been put off it since then! but OMG! Love the canvas artwork! couldn’t stop looking at it! I have pinned it for later!

    • Aw thank you so much Ayesha! I kinda fluffed up but it’s so happy that I’m ok with it ^_^ I had a similar experience with my English teacher. So rigid and strict. Another buzz kill!

  • What a fantastic activity, and the end result looks wonderful. I had a quill too, and had a similar misfortune! I just use a normal fountain pen now and its never let me down xx

    • haha, I’m glad I’m not alone in my quillphobia! I love fountain pens but haven’t used one in years! xx

  • Emily Leary, A Mummy Too

    What a lovely way to celebrate poetry. I would probably have a similar experience with a quill, there’s nothing wrong with a Sharpie though!

    • haha, I still haven’t dared to try the quill again since. I’m much more comfortable with a felt tip 😀

  • Chloe Griffiths

    i forget how good poetry is, theres not enough of it floating about the world anymore xo

  • Charlotte

    Poetry is wonderful! I need some of those pearl stickers in my life! Everything would be much prettier if they were involved!x

  • What a great way to celebrate poetry and get creative in the same time!

    • Thanks Lubka! It was a lot of fun. Even the part where I got covered in ink 😀