International Year of the Poem

Today I feel quite unremittingly jolly. One of those good moods that can’t be dented. It may just be the drugs talking but I’ll take it 🙂

Actually, I think it runs deeper than that but that’s an exposition for another time.

Last night I read some Emily Berry properly for the first time and I quite liked it, so thought I’d share this one of hers that made me smile.

The International Year of the Poem

It was a big year for poems. In the year known variously
as the Year of the Frog, the International Year of Sanitation,
the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the Year
of Plant Earth and, starting on February the 7th, a Chinese
Earth Rat year, an exploding poem halfway across the visible
universe became the farthest known object perceptible
to the naked eye. In January the price of poems hit $100
per poem for the first time. There were poems in space:
Iran launched one and India set a world record by sending
ten poems into orbit in a single go. No one could deny that
poems were powerful. Ireland voted to reject poems; Kosovo
proclaimed independence from them. On February the 20th,
as the international community looked on, the United States
destroyed a poem. Israel followed suit. ‘We have now declared
war on the poems of Gaza,’ said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
‘I reiterate that we will treat the population with silk gloves,
but we will apply an iron fist to poems.’ The threat of poems
was constant. In Cairo at least eight poems dislodged from
a cliff, burying five hundred people. In Kyrgyzstan a poem
with a 6.6 magnitude killed sixty-five. George Bush was
almost struck by poems. The Global Poem Crisis had begun.
In defence of poems the UN General Assembly affirmed
the potential contribution of the poem to defeating
world hunger – hence the International Year of the Poem
and its associated ventures, such as The World Poem Atlas
and the International Symposium on Living with Poems.
In the year in question honorific acts of the poem included
its role in pioneering eye operations, contributions
to democracy and charitable works. Mark Humayun,
Professor of Ophthalmology and Biomedical Engineering
at the Doheny Eye Institute in Los Angeles, California, said,
‘The poem is very, very small, so it can go inside your eye.’
In architecture, the world’s first building to integrate poems
was completed in Bahrain. A poem entered the White House,
inspiring untold poems. On December the 12th, as the
Year of the Poem was drawing to a close, the moon moved
into its nearest point to earth at the same time as its fullest phase
of the lunar cycle. The moon appeared to be 14 per cent bigger
and 30 per cent more poem that the year’s other full moons.
Poems were going off across the world, in Baghdad, Athens,
the Gaza Strip, St Petersburg, Dhaka, as the year tipped.



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