My Twisted Writer Brain…

Do You Know How to Read a Poem?

As we wind up Poetry Month, I’d like to know if you’ve ever read a poem in front of an audience? It’s not easy.

There are things you need to consider so I wanted to share this video with you from last years Ryga Festival.

Reading a poem in front of others is intimidating. You really have to own it.

When you read a poem you want to think about:

  • The Meaning: does it touch you personally. Share that with the audience and let them know.
  • The Tone: know what tone of voice you’ll use to read it aloud. Soft and willowy or fast and angry… there are so many ways to make it your own.
  • The Emphasis: in the poem what words do you want to emphasize? Consider how you’ll do that. Will you pause? whisper? shout? let your voice crack?
  • Speed: take your time.
  • Enunciate: in poetry, every word is important and requires its due.
  • Mood: what is the mood of the poem. Take a deep breath and put yourself there.
  • Slips: I make a couple of slips in the following clip, darn. You just have to keep going.
  • No robotics allowed: poetry is to be felt. If you memorize and just robotically spew the words, it doesn’t enhance the work.
  • Use your whole body. Let the poem lead you.
  • Practice. Practice. Practice.

The following video was taken August 2021 and is me reading two poems.

For context: Hawkins are a name brand of cheezies only available in Canada.

I hope you enjoy.

Getting up in front of others and sharing your work, is not easy. The key is practice. Remember, you’re in charge and you want others to feel your words.

Have fun. Let me know your thoughts on the poems and the reading itself. Thank you.


Thank you for stopping by and reading my post. I hope you enjoyed it. Follow Below.

8 thoughts on “Do You Know How to Read a Poem?”

Thank you for visiting. I really hope you enjoyed reading my post. Remember to Comment and Like. Please FOLLOW below.