Homer's Travels: Poetic Shout Out To The Wife

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Poetic Shout Out To The Wife

Saturday was the Nebraska state Poetry Out Loud competition.  The student from the Wife's school, where the Wife runs the Poetry Out Loud program, competed for the state title and a chance to compete in Washington D.C. at the national competition.

Before the start of the competition, held in an art museum at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, I wandered around the foyer where small knots of student competitors, teachers, family, and friends gathered to practice their recitation before the main event.  The place was full of poetic murmurings and nervous banter.

Poetry Out Loud is a poetry recitation competition.  High School competitors stand on a bare stage in front of a microphone and, during three rounds, read three poems from memory.  The poems are selected by the student from a list of 600 eligible poems of different length and difficulty.  Judges mark them based on several criteria including accuracy.

The competitors walk a fine line between recitation and theatricality.  Being too theatrical is frowned upon but being monotone isn't good either.

This was the third year that I've attended at least one of the regional or state competitions with the Wife.  I do find it interesting even though the Wife thinks the only reason I go is because they have cookies during intermission.  The cookies are good but so are the poets.  I have to admit that I am starting to recognized the poems being read.

The Wife's student did a great job coming in third.  She's a sophomore so she has a couple more years to improve and compete.

Congratulations to the Wife and her amazing student!