Celebrating World Voices for World Poetry Day

Glove representing world voices

With all of the focus on other things at the moment, you may have missed World Poetry Day – the perfect chance to celebrate world voices! We are hard at work ensuring that Voice Squad can run as normally as possible, but we’ve taken some time to share some uplifting poetry with you all…

Before Voice Squadder Abbie left us, we asked her to write a poem on the theme of world voices specifically for Voice Squad! And we asked our Rachael Louise Miller – a huge poetry fan - to not only give us a reading, but also share one of her favourites with us…



Celebrating World Voices on World Poetry Day

World Voices Poem: The Voices by Abbie Amy

He is little
But when he speaks
the trees lean towards him
the wind folds into a gentle lullaby
the sun glows in anticipation
She is fierce
Like a bear hungry after winter
But when she speaks
the flowers at her feet blossom
from the warmth of her voice
The listeners close their eyes
They hear German and Spanish and Icelandic and Vietnamese
Polish, Greek, Indonesian and Hebrew
It is the sound of the world
united by a single voice
There are hundreds of stories to tell
and there is always a voice to tell them
Despite differences
the voices sit waiting
to be heard

To listen to some of our own world voices, check out artists from every language mentioned in the poem:  German, Spanish, Icelandic, Vietnamese, Polish, Greek, Indonesian and Hebrew

Rachael's Poem Choice: Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.