Poetry in Voice in Post
by Rachel Low
The first response from my peers when I tell them about my participation in Poetry in Voice was, “I’m so glad I don’t have to do it”. But I think some of the best things in life, like getting on a roller-coaster or cliff jumping, happen when we are forced to face our worst fears, whether that be death, or public speaking (which are pretty much synonymous in the minds of the majority). Although I cannot say I jump at the opportunity to speak in front of an audience, I can certainly attest to the great feeling of relief that washes over me when my butterflies are set free.
A bit late to the party, David Thompson is one of the only schools in the lower mainland that has never participated in Poetry in Voice — a poetry recitation contest for Canadian high schools. This year, however, three English teachers — Mr. Boyes, Ms. Grant, and Mr. Macleod — have chosen to hold in-class contests as part of the curriculum with some of their students.
There is a chance you can tell a lot about a person from the poem she chooses to recite. Keeping with the motto, “Let your poem find you.”, some recitations are a window to the reciter’s soul, and yet others, are the products of a poem hastily memorized like Biology facts the night before the recitation. (But then again, there is certainly a thin line between “good and bad” when it comes to something as subjective as the arts. For instance, who reserves the right to be the judge of the quality of a painting except the painter himself/herself? Or when it comes to poetry recitation, how can we say that the reciter’s interpretation is incorrect when it is directly related to his/her own experience of the poem? Or, if I were to think my article is the best in this newsletter, who can truly say otherwise?)