On Take Your Poet to Work Day, observed on the third Wednesday of July every year, things get into high gear for poetry lovers. This year, it falls on July 19. Poetry lovers all over the world carry their favorite wordsmiths to work — not literally, though that would be awesome. People take paper cutouts of poets around with them in their pockets, place them on their desks, or put them in their drawers. This gives them extra motivation to get through the day.
This day has been sponsored by Tweetspeak Poetry since 2013. They even released a poet coloring book in 2020 to enable people to take part in the celebrations easily. Take Your Poet to Work Day has evolved into one of the most popular public days for poetry. It has introduced people to poets who are new to them while providing a chance to fold a poet into their day.
History of Take Your Poet to Work Day
Take Your Poet to Work Day celebrates poets and poetry and gives people a chance to carry their favorite poets around with them for the day. The creators of this holiday designed it to encourage the poetry-shy to dip their toes into this art form.
Since the inception of this day, it has been celebrated widely on social media and offline as well. Microsoft Lumia, the Scottish Parliament, Subway, NASA, Playstation, Subway, Cisco, and the Smithsonian are some of the locations that have hosted the celebrations.
Poetry began as an oral art form before written text. Historians believe that the earliest poetry was likely recited or sung. Poems were employed to keep records of oral history, genealogy, and law. The earliest written poems date to over 5,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, recorded in cuneiform. They were done on clay tablets and gave detailed accounts of how the ancient kings ruled their people. Poetry is closely linked to musical traditions, and the earliest poetry exists in the form of hymns and chants. Poems were a vital part of religious ceremonies or rites of passage such as weddings or funerals.
Many people still use this spoken-word art form in events such as weddings, funerals, and presidential inaugurations, which typically include professional performances.
Poetry has been used to convey deep messages, and in past, it was considered by many to be the highest form of literature. This is because of its use of all eight parts of speech to communicate ideas effectively.
Take Your Poet to Work Day timeline
The oldest known poem, “The Epic Of Gilgames,” is created in Mesopotamia, and it’s believed the author copied it from earlier lost works.
Nobles are expected to write poetry as part of their education.
Poets renew their interest in the ancient world, specifically Greece and Rome, and refer to these regions in their work.
The first modernist poets set out to break away from many of the established traditions of poetry.
Take Your Poet to Work Day FAQs
In which countries is Take Your Poet to Work Day celebrated?
South Africa, France, Italy, New Zealand, Panama, the U.K., Malaysia, Belgium, Canada, India, Argentina, and Holland are a few of the countries that have embraced the day.
What is the longest poem in the world?
“The Mahabharata” is an Indian epic poem that has around 1.8 million words.
Who was the first successful female poet?
Anne Bradstreet was the first woman recognized as an accomplished poet in the British American colonies.
Take Your Poet to Work Day Activities
Collect early examples of poetry
Locate different editions and translations of early poetry. This can make for an exciting challenge and help you to recognize the forms, themes, and images as they occur in modern works.
Take your poet to work
Buy the coloring book, color your fave poet, then cut out the picture along the dotted line. Attach it to a popsicle stick, and voila! You have a companion for the rest of the day — or as long as you like.
Recite a poem
Make the day extra fun by reciting a poem for a colleague at work. Just make sure it's about a subject or theme they find interesting!
5 Interesting Facts About Poems
Poems as secret messages
Poems were once a means of non-verbal communication — so if someone had been taken by the enemy, he left poems on walls or trees.
Poetry has evolved widely
Modern poets often use other media such as drawings to present their work.
More relatable poetry
The poets from the Romantic era were considered to be more accessible than their predecessors because they wrote about everyday life instead of lofty themes that were not relatable to ordinary people.
Afraid of poetry?
The fear of poetry is known as ‘emetophobia.’
Macabre book covering
The skin of murderer George Cudmore was used to bind an 1852 edition of John Milton's “Poetical Works.”
Why We Love Take Your Poet to Work Day
There's nothing more enjoyable than engaging with poetry in various forms. Take Your Poet to Work Day allows us to have even more fun!
Spreads the love of poetry
On Take Your Poet to Work Day, we share the love of this art form with others. More people get to interact with poems, and that's a great thing.
A chance to support artists
Apart from enjoying poetry, we get to support the creators as well. By buying their work, attending their shows, etc., we support them to continue with their amazing work.
Take Your Poet to Work Day dates