On Tuesday, January 14th, twenty-seven Melrose High students recited poems they had memorized as part of the annual Poetry Out Loud competition. Five English teachers judged the students based on accuracy, among other criteria. Senior Lilah Drafts-Johnson was declared the winner, and freshman Alana Williams was the runner-up. The results were announced on Wednesday, January 15th.
Students who win their school competitions need to prepare three poems for the state and national levels. One must be twenty-five lines or fewer, one must be written before the 20th century, and the student can choose another poem as their third poem. All poems must be from the Poetry Out Loud anthology. The anthology can be found online at www.poetryoutloud.org.
Mrs. Stearns believes it is “valuable for students to memorize poems” because then they “own” that piece of poetry, in a way. She uses Nelson Mandela to illustrate the benefits of memorizing poetry. Mandela memorized poems and recited them in prison for entertainment. One of the poems he memorized and recited to other prisoners at
, “Invictus” by
William Ernest Henley, is part of the Poetry Out Loud anthology. Robben Island
Junior Megan Wolley, a member of the Imprint staff, said the competition made her go outside her comfort zone. She recited “The Maid’s Lament,” by Walter Savage Landor. She chose the poem because she had “never done a poem about mourning” and she wanted to try something different.
Winner Lilah Drafts-Johnson recited “Cartoon Physics, Part 1” by Nick Flynn. Runner-up Alana Williams recited “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” by Langston Hughs.
competition will be on March 1st, 2014. The location has yet to be
By: Emma Morrison