If you know a poet, National Take a Poet to Lunch Day on January 6 will be the best time to show your support and appreciation for their work. Take them out for a great meal, on you. Poetry has been around since before Christ, and this creative, rhythmic form of literature has become the foundation for things we now enjoy, such as modern music.
History of National Take a Poet to Lunch Day
National Take a Poet to Lunch Day is a day dedicated to appreciating poetry by taking a poet you know out to lunch. We cannot accurately track the history of this day, so instead, we will give you a brief history of the art form itself.
Epic poems were some of the first to ever be written. They are lengthy narrative poems, which discuss the extraordinary doings of people in a time beyond living memory. They mostly involved gods or other superhuman forces, and gave shape to the mortal universe. This allowed their descendants to understand themselves as a people or nation.
Some scholars believe that the art of poetry may predate literacy, with the oldest surviving epic poem, “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, dating back to as far as 3000 B.C. It was originally written in cuneiform script on clay tablets. A thousand years after that, in 2000 B.C, the first love poem, “Istanbul” was written on a tablet.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs, with the earliest entries in the oldest collection of Chinese poetry, “The Shijing”, being lyrics initially. It was compiled by the philosopher Confucius and is considered to be one of the official Confucian classics.
The study of the aesthetics of poetry, poetics, came to be when ancient thinkers found it difficult to determine what made poetry distinctive as a form, and what distinguished good poetry from bad poetry. Aristotle’s “Poetics”, described three genres of poetry — the epic, the comic, and the tragic. It developed rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre. Later, aestheticians identified three major genres — epic poetry, lyric poetry, and dramatic poetry. Comedy and tragedy became sub-genres of dramatic poetry.
National Take a Poet to Lunch Day timeline
The oldest surviving epic poem, “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, dates back to this century.
“Istanbul”, the oldest love poem, is written on a tablet.
The oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry, “Shijing,” dates back to this time, and was initially lyrics.
Aristotle's “Poetics” divides the art of poetry into verse drama, lyric, and epic poetry, with the main focus on drama.
National Take a Poet to Lunch Day FAQs
Does National Take a Poet to Lunch Day exist?
National Take a Poet to Lunch Day does exist and occurs annually on January 6.
What do you do on National Take a Poet to Lunch Day?
Just as the name implies, today you should simply take a poet you know out to lunch. If you’re a poet yourself, then treat yourself to some good food — you deserve it!
Who was the first poet?
The earliest known poet whose name has been recorded is Enheduanna.
National Take a Poet to Lunch Day Activities
Take a poet to lunch
As the name implies, the day is focused on celebrating poetry by taking a poet out to lunch. Today will be the best time to call up your poet friends and plan a lunch, or treat any poet you know to a great meal. If you’re a poet yourself, this day is still for you! Take yourself out to lunch, or call up other poet friends for a fun group date.
Read some poetry
There is no greater way to celebrate poetry than by reading it. Dedicate some time to finding and reading any poems that might interest you.
Attend a poetry reading
Not a big reader? Don’t worry about it. There are other ways to enjoy poetry without actually doing the reading, such as attending a poetry reading or an open mic night. This is a great activity where poets and writers get together to read some of their best works. Sit in on one, give them a good cheer, and who knows, you might find someone to take on that lunch date.
5 Interesting Facts About Poetry
There are poetry dissing matches
Flyting is a poetic slanging match, where two poets go after each other in turns with streams of abusive verse.
Some people fear it
Metrophobia is the name used to describe a fear of poetry.
There are three best-sellers
Shakespeare, Khalil Gibran, and Lao-Tzu are the three biggest-selling poets in the world.
Juliet was originally 15 years old
In the source poem for Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is 15, but Shakespeare chose to make her 13 in his play.
The idea for “Marmion”
Many of Sir Walter Scott’s ideas for his bestselling epic poem “Marmion” came to him while he was on horseback.
Why We Love National Take a Poet to Lunch Day
Poetry is an art form
Poetry is one of the truest and oldest forms of art. It formed the basis for modern music and most of the creative writing we know today. An art such as poetry deserves to be celebrated.
Poems are an expression
Poets use poetry and poems to express feelings and thoughts they might not ordinarily be able to. This creative expression is essential to the poets themselves and we, the listeners.
It’s a good reason for a lunch date
Who doesn’t love a good old fashion lunch date? National Take a Poet to Lunch Day gives us a fun and creative reason to do so.
National Take a Poet to Lunch Day dates