It's not just spring that coaxes new life from the barren, worn soil of winter on March 21st. Did you know that today is World Poetry Day?
Sure, spring is all about the physical, but the soul matters, too. And though we know better in Toronto than to think March 21st immediately brings rabbits and rainbows and warm, forgiving skies—there, uh, might be freezing rain tonight, everyone—nurturing life back into that intangible part of yourself can mean as much as melting the snow. Nothing serves that purpose better than a few lines of inspiring words, a shot of life straight to the head.
Declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999, World Poetry Day celebrates this, giving "fresh recognition and impetus to national, regional and international poetry movements." That's also why Toronto Poetry Slam continues tonight in the Underground at 7 pm, with a $5 cover to support our own local scene.
So enjoy this classic moment from one particular poetry movement: the San Francisco Renaissance, which, as an offshoot of the '40s and '50s Beat Generation, helped kick off the counterculture of the '60s. Here's Allen Ginsberg reading "Kral Majales (King of May)" at City Lights Bookstore in 1965, with Neal Cassady at his side.