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A Local Look at World Poetry Day

Since 1999, March 21 has been designated World Poetry Day. This is a day that puts the spotlight on supporting poetry and a diverse array of poets. To celebrate, Williamson Forward talked to Mrs. Vicky Evans, English instructor at the Williamson Campus of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, about the importance of poetry.

“Poetry is like a diary of the time in which it is written,” Vicky says. “It can encapsulate the emotions, values, and demeanor of the people and places of that era, and it is powerful. It can transcend the confines of time to touch readers throughout the ages.”

While poetry is universal, and can share fundamental aspects of humanity, it is also highly personal, Vicky says. “Not only does poetry touch us, we bring to the table our own emotions and experiences, and even values and morals. How that poem impacts us is always colored by the essence of who we are.”

Poetry is unique– “unlike prose, which has all the time in the world to paint a picture, poems must thrust those words into our being moment by moment,” Vicky says. “It soothes our hearts, but can sway our senses.”

Vicky shared one of her favorite poems in honor of World Poetry Day: “I Am An Animal Rescuer”, by Annette King-Tucker. This poem details the experiences of being– you guessed it!-- can animal rescuer, can be read here.

Vicky also shared a poem she wrote as a tribute to her mamaw. “She lived in a little coal camp house with no running water and an outside toilet, but looking back, she was the richest person I had ever known.”


Apron pockets and rollin’ pins

Warm hugs and neighbor friends

Miner bucket sitting side the frigidaire

Mamaw in her cane bottom chair

Breads in the oven

Babies on the floor

Always room for even one more

Sitting on laps, snug and safe

Everybody felt wanted at Mamaw’s place

Marbles in jars and pictures in a box

Coins tied safely in a corner knot

Loving hands and listening ears

Making it better and drying your tears

Cat eye glasses and warm corn bread

Cold water buckets, needles and thread

Coal Camp dreams

And worn calloused hands

Always believing in you

And all your plans

A keeper of your secrets

In whom you can trust

Mamaw taught you faith

And the meaning of love

World Poetry Day can be celebrated in a variety of ways, chief among them reading and writing poetry. To celebrate, why don’t you take the time to share a poem with someone you love?

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