Thursday, October 23, 2014

Poetry Out Loud

I. Am. So. EXCITED!!!!
I joined this thing called "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Competition", and it's coming up pretty soon! The competition is basically where you have to memorize a couple poems and then recite them up on a stage, and you are judged based on your accuracy, voice and articulation, evidence of understanding, and appearance/physical presence. One of the poems has to be 25 lines or fewer, and the second poem must be from before the 20th century! The competition starts at a school level. If you win, then you go to district, and then state -- and eventually the National Finals!!! I kind of doubt that I'll make it THAT far, this being my first year, but I hope to at least win at the school level.
I've chosen the poems "The Ocean" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and "It Couldn't Be Done" by Edgar Allen Guest. "The Ocean" was appealing to me because it sounds so dark, deep, smooth, and a little mysterious, but still beautiful!!

The Ocean has its silent caves,
Deep, quiet, and alone;
Though there be fury on the waves,
Beneath them there is none.
The awful spirits of the deep
Hold their communion there;
And there are those for whom we weep,
The young, the bright, the fair.

Calmly the wearied seamen rest
Beneath their own blue sea.
The ocean solitudes are blest,
For there is purity.
The earth has guilt, the earth has care,
Unquiet are its graves;
But peaceful sleep is ever there,
Beneath the dark blue waves

The reason that I picked "It Couldn't Be Done" is probably because of the message that it sends across: If you just try hard enough, anything is possible! It was also a really inspiring, uplifting poem.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

I have already gotten both of these memorized (surprise!) and so I just have to work on my enunciation and physical appearance. I don't think that I really appear all that confident when I am reciting, mostly because I am trying to remember what words come next! So I have to work on physical appearance/appearing confident the most.
The competition is coming up soon -- in the beginning of November -- so wish me luck!! I'll make sure to post about it the day of and/or the day after, so you guys know what happens. :)

~Mattie <3

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mattie,
    Of COURSE I love the second one the best. It's been sorta my moto (as your Mom can attest, from one of my latest fb posts about my Bike). For me it's simply the getting started and the singing as I work, that're the keys.
    It's TERRIFIC that you've already got them memorized. The more often you say them aloud, the easier the flow will be....and you'll stop worrying about what comes next. Both your brain AND your mouth will know, grin.
    Hope you meet lots of new people and have LOADS of fun along the way.
    No Luck needed. You've got this!
    Warm Support flowing your way!
    Ms Lu