annually on August 21st (since 2001)
C. Daniel Rhodes (of Hoover, Alabama) in 2001
This is a day dedicated the crafters of poetry. Poetry has been around for millennia, dating back to the Sumerian's Epic of Gilgamesh. Poetry "uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language", and its meanings go beyond prosaic writing. There are many forms of poetry, such as sonnets, limericks, and haikus, and there are many genres of poetry such as narrative, epic, and lyric. Poets not only write poems, but many times read or perform them in front of an audience. Poets have written in almost every language and style imaginable. Professional poets were sponsored by wealthy patrons in Ancient Rome. During the High Middle Ages, troubadours were travelling poets, who also filled roles as actors and musicians, and were many times sponsored by patrons. During the Renaissance period, patrons also sponsored poets, and many poets did other things besides just write poetry. For example, William Shakespeare also worked in theater. During the Romantic period, during the late 18th century, and going forward, poets were independent writers, but also did other types of work to support themselves.
How to Observe
The day should be spent reading your favorite poets. This is also a good day to explore the many poets you aren't familiar with. How about writing your own poems and letting your inner poet shine? It has been three days since National Bad Poetry Day, so if you did some writing then, you must be an expert by now!