Tuesday August 31 2021 10:30pm
A Guide from 'AllPoetry': How to Read Poems Out Loud
A Guide To Reading Poems Out Loud
Why should we read poems out loud?
- Poetry predates written languages - it was always read out loud.
- The rhythm to a poem is much more evident
- Awkward places or missing words are much more obvious
- Putting each word through your breath & mouth & tongue is a powerful experience
How do you read a poem out loud well?
- Scan the poem briefly, noting stanza sizes, commas/periods, line formatting, repeated lines, and reading the first line, last line, and title.
- Be willing to look up words you don't understand. A quick google search will do.
- Find the right tone of voice - some poems are angry "slam" poems, some are melancholy elegies. Something more neutral is usually best, but I often find lines I want to read with more emphasis (look for exclamation points)
- Take your time - rushing out loud doesn't work like reading faster does. Commit to the process.
- You don't need an audience - I usually read out loud to myself.