Portrait of poet Pablo Neruda projected on a building, Santiago, Chile
© Mario Tellez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Image
It's World Poetry Day
For World Poetry Day, we're seeing the stylized visage of poet Pablo Neruda projected on a building in his native Chile. World Poetry Day was established by UNESCO to acknowledge 'that individuals, everywhere in the world, share the same questions and feelings.' Neruda, a Nobel laureate generally held up by Chileans as their national poet, made his early mark with famously racy love poetry. But his palette of questions and feelings evolved, expanding into surrealism, epic history, and radical politics. His death in 1973 after a bout with cancer was mourned publicly by Chileans—in defiance of newly installed dictator Augusto Pinochet, whom many Chileans link to Neruda's untimely passing.
UNESCO explains that World Poetry Day celebrates 'one of humanity's most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity.' So, if it's been a while since you've read a poem, dust off a volume of verse sitting on your shelf or search online for a favorite poet and rediscover the timeless magic of poetry.