The annual Poetry Out Loud competition was held in the lecture hall on Friday, Nov 16 and Monday, Nov 19 during eighth period. The second round will take place Friday Nov 30. Poetry Out Loud is an opportunity for Jefferson students to recite a meaningful work of poetry and possibly advance further in the competition.
Students use poetry as a form of expression. Many students chose poems with a complex meaning because they feel as though they can connect to it.
“I chose it [my poem] because I liked the simple yet effective metaphors,” freshman Maria Molchanova said. “[Maya] Angelou uses some beautiful figurative language to convey an atmosphere of despair and the frustration of people who have less rights than others.”
The reason reciting poetry is so special to participants is because it stands out as an art form. “There’s always some sort of hidden meaning behind a poem that you can’t always convey through other forms of literature,” freshman Kat Kosolapova said. “When I was looking for poems, there were a lot of the standard type you’d usually expect to find. However, Israfel [my poem] had an interesting structure.”
However, Poetry out Loud participants agree that reciting in front of an audience can be challenging. “It’s kind of scary to stand in front of your peers,” Kosolapova said. “I always get very anxious and self-conscious whenever I present anything. I feel like everyone is going to judge me or that I’ll mess up. I end up working myself up over these worries, which only end up making it worse.”
Despite these challenges, poetry remains empowering to the person reciting, and they know the importance of reciting their poem well.
“Reciting makes me feel like I am a part of something important, like I am doing something powerful that can have an impact on others,” Molchanova said. “The author had a message to convey, and I want to do that in the best way possible.”