Lone polar bear against a blue sky

Polar Bears International's Instagram page will feature a poem about polar bears every day in April, National Poetry Month, relying on the emotive power of poetry to touch hearts and minds.

© Shannon Curtis/Polar Bears International

4/1/2019 7:11:06 PM

Polar Poetry

Polar Bears International is joining the Instagram poetry movement to draw attention to the plight of polar bears in the Arctic.

PBI will post a poem a day for the next 30 days throughout the month of April, which is National Poetry Month. Each poem is accompanied by a unique water-color painting that evokes the beauty and texture of the sea and its ice.

To mirror the sea ice shrinking, the poems get shorter and shorter as the month progresses. At the same time, the blue of the water gradually encroaches on the white ice with each poem, until, by the end, the ice has disappeared.

“More and more young people are enjoying poetry today thanks to the active poetry community on Instagram. It seems like a natural space to convey the polar bears’ struggles in a fresh, emotive way,” says Dylan Wagman, copywriter at PBI’s agency, No Fixed Address.

The posts will appear daily on the Polar Bears International Instagram feed with the hashtag #PolarPoetry and will also live in their Instagram Stories.

“The poems speak to the past, present and uncertain futures of polar bears. And ideally, through these snapshots, we get some more people talking about the substantial change necessary to address climate change,” says Wagman.

The poems were written by Wagman and edited by Toronto author, Sara Flemington. The illustrations were painted by art director, Luan Pirola.

National Poetry Month was established in the U.S. in 1996 and was adopted in Canada two years later. The celebration was inspired in part by the T.S. Eliot poem, The Waste Land​, which begins with the opening line, “April is the cruellest month ...”

The public is invited to join the movement by sharing a polar bear poem for a chance to be featured on PBI's Instagram page, tagging @polarbearsinternational and using the hashtag #polarpoetry.

“The many threats facing polar bears in the Arctic are becoming more and more urgent,” says Emily Ringer, PBI’s marketing and communications manager. “We need to bring this story to the attention of people right now, by touching their hearts and minds. It made sense to deliver our message using the emotive power of poetry.”

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