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National Poetry Month, 2014 How to enjoy reading poetry aloud

Down by the Bridge
Down by the Bridge
Catherine Al-Meten

National Poetry Month: Poetry recited aloud

Poetry becomes a different experience when it is read or recited aloud.

Try it and see what you think. Here is a wonderful poem by Lawrence Ferlinghetti



I Am Waiting

“I am waiting for my case to come up
and I am waiting
for a rebirth of wonder
and I am waiting for someone
to really discover America
and wail
and I am waiting
for the discovery
of a new symbolic western frontier
and I am waiting
for the American Eagle
to really spread its wings
and straighten up and fly right
and I am waiting
for the Age of Anxiety
to drop dead
and I am waiting
for the war to be fought
which will make the world safe
for anarchy
and I am waiting
for the final withering away
of all governments
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Second Coming
and I am waiting
for a religious revival
to sweep thru the state of Arizona
and I am waiting
for the Grapes of Wrath to be stored
and I am waiting
for them to prove
that God is really American
and I am waiting
to see God on television
piped onto church altars
if only they can find
the right channel
to tune in on
and I am waiting
for the Last Supper to be served again
with a strange new appetizer
and I am perpetually awaiting
a rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for my number to be called
and I am waiting
for the Salvation Army to take over
and I am waiting
for the meek to be blessed
and inherit the earth
without taxes
and I am waiting
for forests and animals
to reclaim the earth as theirs
and I am waiting
for a way to be devised
to destroy all nationalisms
without killing anybody
and I am waiting
for linnets and planets to fall like rain
and I am waiting for lovers and weepers
to lie down together again
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the Great Divide to be crossed
and I am anxiously waiting
for the secret of eternal life to be discovered
by an obscure general practitioner
and I am waiting
for the storms of life
to be over
and I am waiting
to set sail for happiness
and I am waiting
for a reconstructed Mayflower
to reach America
with its picture story and tv rights
sold in advance to the natives
and I am waiting
for the lost music to sound again
in the Lost Continent
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting for the day
that maketh all things clear
and I am awaiting retribution
for what America did
to Tom Sawyer
and I am waiting
for Alice in Wonderland
to retransmit to me
her total dream of innocence
and I am waiting
for Childe Roland to come
to the final darkest tower
and I am waiting
for Aphrodite
to grow live arms
at a final disarmament conference
in a new rebirth of wonder

I am waiting
to get some intimations
of immortality
by recollecting my early childhood
and I am waiting
for the green mornings to come again
youth’s dumb green fields come back again
and I am waiting
for some strains of unpremeditated art
to shake my typewriter
and I am waiting to write
the great indelible poem
and I am waiting
for the last long careless rapture
and I am perpetually waiting
for the fleeing lovers on the Grecian Urn
to catch each other up at last
and embrace
and I am awaiting
perpetually and forever
a renaissance of wonder.”

And I ask you, did you mind reading all the way to the end, or was it one leg of the journey after the other that kept you going to the end? Reading poetry aloud brings it to life, and listening to poetry being recited by people in love with the poems, is also a life-enriching experience.

Take some time over the next few days to listen to some recitations of your favorite poetry. Memorize a poem or two, and recite them aloud to yourself as you shower or bathe, to your captive audience when driving everyone to school or work and back, to your best friend continents away whom you call in the middle of the night to catch at lunch. Invite a few or many friends over Saturday or Sunday, and sit around sharing poetry aloud. Recite poetry at the dinner table or at breakfast before you start the day. Celebrate the final week of National Poetry Month by bringing poetry to life in your life.

For poetry to be performed or listened to, visit the website of Poetry OutLoud,
or Poetry.org’s Listening Booth.

Learn more about Essential American Poets and find poems recorded for listening at the Poetry Foundation’s Poetry Archive.

Listen to N. Scott Momaday read Robert Frost’s poem, Fire and Ice and Shelley’s Ozymandus, or James Earl Jones recite Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55. Listen to Rita Dove recite Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, We Wear the Mask and Angela Lansbury reciting Wordsworth’s The World Is Too Much for Us.

Listen to poet Robert Frost read his own poem, The Road Not Taken

And listen to other classic poems read aloud on Classic Poetry’s website. Discover new poets and look for audio recordings of your favorite poems. Record yourself reading a favorite poem, and have everyone in the family select one poem to read or recite and record. Bring poetry to life and let it be part of your experience from now on.

Reciting poetry aloud
Reciting poetry aloud Catherine Al-Meten

Reciting poetry aloud

  • Memorize a poem or two, and recite them aloud to yourself as you shower or bathe;
  • Recite your favorite poems to your captive audience when driving everyone to school or work and back;
  • Call a friend or family member who lives far away and read a poem they love.
  • Invite a few or many over Saturday or Sunday, and sit around sharing poetry aloud;
  • Celebrate the final week of National Poetry Month by bringing poetry to life in your life.
Listening to poetry
Listening to poetry Catherine Al-Meten

Listening to poetry

Listen to N. Scott Momaday read Robert Frost’s poem, Fire and Ice and Shelley’s Ozymandus,  or James Earl Jones recite Shakespeare’s Sonnet 55. Listen to Rita Dove recite Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem, We Wear the Mask and Angela Lansbury reciting Wordsworth’s The World Is Too Much for Us.

Listen to poet Robert Frost read his own poem, The Road Not Taken
 

And listen to other classic poems read aloud on Classic Poetry’s website.

 

Poetry recited and read aloud
Poetry recited and read aloud Catherine Al-Meten

Poetry recited and read aloud

For poetry to be performed or listened to, visit the websites: