21st March, 2017, USTM: World Poetry Day had been celebrated today at University of Science & Technology Techno City Campus. The recognition of World Poetry Day had come in the year 1999 by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). The purpose of the day is to promote the reading, writing, publishing and teaching of poetry throughout the world and to “give fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements” as propounded by the UNESCO in a session declaring the day as World Poetry day.
The department of English at University of Science & Technology Meghalaya had observed World poetry Day through a gala ceremony. It was a proud moment when Shri Anis Uz Zaman, the renowned poet and Kabyaratna Award winner, Chief Guest of the programme, had opened the inaugural session. Amongst other dignitaries present were Dr. P G Rao, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, USTM, Dr. R K Sharma, Pro VC, USTM, Mr. P P Srivastava, former Member, North East Council Secretariat and two other young poets of Assam namely Sh. Jogesh Bhattacharya, Sh. Rajiv Deka. In his speech, Sh. Zaman first welcomed the university and the department of English for taking this token gesture to create awareness amongst the students of the university through observing World Poetry Day. Later, he went on to emphasize the fact how poetry can be a weapon to agitate, sensitize and initiate revolution or change in the society. In this context he had alluded to famous Spanish poet Pablo Neruda and Federico Garcia Lorca which had beautifully explained how poetry is not just about personal feelings or emotions, rather a catalyst for mass awakening and hence he had quoted a few words from Neruda’s poem. “I explain a few things” You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?/ and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?/and the rain repeatedly spattering/its words and drilling them full
of apertures and birds?. Dr. P G Rao, VC, USTM had delineated how poetry can about peace and universal brotherhood in the North East region as it is ridden with ethnic and cultural diversity, different languages etc. Dr. R K Sharma, Pro VC, USTM had also congratulated the department for taking such a bold initiative.
Another striking part of the program was two young poets from Assam. Sh. Jogesh Bhattacharya, in his lecture talked about the definition of poetry which he had simplified as poetry is something which gives eternal pleasure and what distinguishes the good poet and the bad poet which according to him “ if a poetry does not give pleasure after few years of writing, it was not a good poet”.
Rajiv Deka mentioned a very famous poem by Neruda “Keeping Quiet” and the poem goes like this: Fisherman in the cold sea would not harm whales / And the man gathering salt would not look at his hurt hands/ Those who prepare green wars/ wars with gas, wars with fire/
victories with no survivors/ would put on clean clothes / and walk about with their brothers/ in the shade, doing nothing. He had also mentioned poetry as speed breaker which would bring about a fresh lease of life in the mechanical day to day life.
The inaugural session was followed by poetry recitation competition, spot poetry writing competition and poetry reading session by the faculty members. And the winners were awarded with cash prize and certificates. The winners are Richa Sharma from the department of English, 4th Semester who won the first prize for poetry recitation, 2nd prize : Shyashree Saikia, Dept of English, 2nd Semester, 3rd prize went to Rokneisano, Dept of Rural Development. Spot Poetry writing : The theme as chosen was Nature/ Child
1st Prize went to Shyashree Saikia
2nd Prize : Prarthana Devi from dept of Psychology
3rd Prize : Sen Chun Beni, dept of English, 2nd semester