Places for Poetry: Appropriate Places to Recite Verses

There are good places for poetry, not only to receive inspiration but to recite verses.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Appropriate Places to Recite Verses

Although we tend to consider poetry as mainly a written art form, it can actually take on other forms. With its capacity for evoking emotions and painting images with words, poetry is not only confined to the page. 

When we begin to recite the words aloud, poetry takes on a new life. The rhythm and the cadence with which it is spoken help transform it into something that the listener can resonate with in a way that silent reading can find hard to achieve.

But where and when is it appropriate to share the beauty and the wonder of a poem through recitation?

Places for Poetry: The Formal Stage

Poetry readings are an all-time platform for recitation. Often held in bookstores, cafes, or even libraries, these events offer a dedicated space for poets and enthusiasts to share their passion. Open mic nights can be a fantastic starting point, allowing you to test the waters of public recitation in a relatively supportive environment.

For more established poets, especially those more inclined to oral productions, there are poetry slams and competitive events where participants perform their original work and are judged by audience members or a panel. Poetry slams demand strong delivery and a connection with the audience, making them an exciting platform to showcase your skills.

Places for Poetry: The Academe

Schools and universities are natural environments for poetry recitation. 

In classrooms, reciting poems can breathe life into the curriculum. Consider a dramatic reading of Shakespeare’s sonnets or Ginsberg’s verses to enhance the emotional impact, or recite a poem about nature alongside a science lesson to connect deeply with the subject.

Poetry can also be a part of school events. For example, there are plenty of patriotic poems that can be recited during national holidays, which can add a powerful dimension to school celebrations.

Places for Poetry: Special Days

Poetry is a great tool to elevate the significance of personal milestones and celebrations

  • Weddings: A well-chosen love poem recited during the ceremony can personalize the event and uniquely express the couple’s feelings.
  • Graduations: Reciting a poem about perseverance or the pursuit of knowledge can add a touch of inspiration to a graduation ceremony.
  • Funerals: A poem about loss or remembrance recited during a eulogy can offer comfort and shared sentiment during a difficult time.

Considerations When Reciting Verses

The Right Poem for the Right Occasion

Selecting the right poem is crucial for a successful recitation. Without careful consideration of what is appropriate, you are liable to make a fool of yourself.

  • The Tone: Match the poem’s tone to the occasion. 
  • The Length: Consider the time constraints of the setting. 
  • The Audience: Tailor your selection to your listeners’ interests. 

Making a Difference with Delivery

Even the most beautiful poem can fall flat with poor delivery. As such, always be mindful of how you deliver the piece that you’ve chosen.

  • Practice: Rehearse the poem beforehand to ensure smooth delivery and avoid stumbles.
  • Project your voice: Speak clearly and audibly, reaching everyone in the audience.
  • Vary your pace: Don’t rush through the poem, letting the natural rhythm and punctuation guide your pace.
  • Use vocal variety: Inflect your voice to convey the emotions and meaning of the poem.

The Power of Shared Verse

Reciting poetry isn’t just about sharing words and creating a connection. 

By choosing the right poem for the correct setting and delivering it with care, you can use language to move your audience, spark discussions, and leave a lasting impression. 

So, don’t be afraid to break out your favorite poem and share it with the world. You might be surprised by the impact it can have.

Brion K. Hanks’s works, When The Rose Fades & Tales of a Traveler, are both anthologies of family-friendly poetry for gatherings and more.