Although the winter breeze has begun to dominate November, the weather felt a bit warmer as students cozied up on International Poetry Celebration day by presenting poetry from all over the world.
The annual event is currently scheduled and arranged by French professor Dr. Michele Pedrini. The event started at 10 in the morning and lasted until 2:30 p.m. in the Circadian. Five poems were read by students who are studying that specific languages in a span of 30 minutes with shorts break in between. The audience are able to enjoy cheeses from France, Italy, and Germany and beverages from different cultural groups as they listened.
“It’s just a very nice ways to of sharing different culture,” Pedrini said. “First we read the poems in English so everyone can understand, and then we get to hear the sentiments and the sounds of all the different language so it is a really wonderful international activity.”
Every semester the event grows in numbers Pedrini explained. It started with only five people from the first event to 35 students last semester, and now the number is at 50.
Students seemed both nervous and excited as they read their poems in front of other language students and professors. The room was slowly filled as each poem resonated along the halls and students got more comfortable as they read the poems that they chose.
This particular even started a year and a half ago by German language Professor James Keller, with only about five students, at first it was just an idea and nothing more, but other language professors soon caught on quickly, and the celebration has snowballed into an event with more than seven languages.
“The students have the opportunity to present what they can do, so it’s wonderful. It is a confidence builder and it exposes other students how beautiful other languages are,” Keller said.
The poetry ranged from Spanish poet Pablo Neruda to Chinese poems by Li Bai.
Hailey Bautista, a student majoring in French, participated in the very first event poetry celebration, presented in French, Russian, and Italian.
Bautista was blown away by how many students participated last semester and was inspired by the other poems that were read that day. She realized that she had a passion for different languages, to the point where she decided to take Russian the following year.
“After hearing all the Chinese poems I really actually want to learn Mandarin,” Bautista said. “They are so beautiful and [I] always wanted to learn Mandarin; I am just so inspired now. There [is] a whole list of languages I want to learn now.”
When students read their poems they were asked what the inspiration was for choosing that particular poem. While the answer ranged between students, many students like Bautista just simply had passion for the language.
Both students and professors alike are excited for “World Poetry Day” in March, hoping to relish in another poetry celebration where more students will participate, listen and learn.