5 Tips for Poetry Performance: Doing Poetry Right with Renee M. LaTulippe



hi i'm rene de la to leap from no water river calm i'm very pleased to be contributing to the annual doing life write teleconference with my talk I'm doing poetry write poetry is a wonderful art form meant to be read and performed out loud but too often it's put on a pedestal and strikes fear into the hearts of men well I'm here to tell you that poetry is for everyone and everyone can have fun performing it this video is for students teachers and poetry lovers everywhere who want to get out of the chair raise their voices and do poetry right and here are 5 tips to help you do just that tip number one score your poem once you've chosen which poem you'd like to do spend some time with the text scoring your script that simply means going through and highlighting the words you might want to emphasize jotting down ideas for movement and marking where you might want to speed up slow down or pause for effect I sometimes use musical notation for this like crescendo and staccato but you can use whatever system works best for you make choices that are natural for the poem if you're doing a dramatic poem like Jabberwocky or The Raven you can have a lot more fun exaggerating the movement and voice if you're doing a simpler more realistic poem you're going to want to keep your choices natural and realistic as well once you're finished scoring your poem your script is going to look like a big ol mess like mine for Jabberwocky and that's fine because it looks like a big ol mess means you've just created a roadmap for your performance and you're ready to rehearse tip number two find your pace often when people get in front of an audience or a camera the adrenaline kicks in and they start talking a mile a minute remember that a poem is a little story and you want to be sure that your audience understands the beginning the middle and the end slowing down will ensure that that happens one thing to look out for here is how you handle line breaks of course poems are written in lines but that doesn't mean you have to pause at the end of every single one doing so would result in a very choppy unnatural reading so save your pauses for where you see the punctuation often the poem itself dictate the pacing for example look at this clip from the lake isle of industry by WB Yeats and I shall have some peace there for peace comes dropping slow dropping from the vales of the morning to where the cricket sings their midnight Salah glimmer and noon a purple glow and evening full of the Linnet swings this poem has a language yearning feeling behind it which called for slower more luxurious reading finding your pace is also where scoring your poem comes in handy you've already marked where you might want to speed up slow down or pause for effect so now it's just a matter of following the roadmap you've already created tip number three use good diction good diction simply means clear pronunciation of the words and it is essential for doing poetry write a poem has limited words in the first place so every single one of them is important you've no doubt heard the phrase cross your T's and dot your i's well diction is the verbal embodiment of that saying nervous speakers tend to garble their words or swallow the ends of their sentences which makes it very difficult for an audience to follow them and understand what they're saying take a look at this sample from Jabberwocky and notice how I exaggerated the diction for effect and as in uffish thought would he the jabberwock with eyes of flame came whiffling through the tulgey wood and burbled as it came one two one two and through through the vorpal blade went snicker-snack he left it dead and with his head he went galumphing back in that clip you could hear every curse and do at the ends of the words clearly you don't need to go quite so far when you're doing a realistic poem like the lake Isle of Ennis but when in doubt err on the side of exaggeration tip number four use natural movement movement is probably the area that people have the most trouble with and inexperienced speakers either do nothing at all standing very stiff and unnatural or they do too much acting out every word as in I searched the horizon for a ship and lo I saw it bouncing across the waves now you probably wouldn't speak that way in a regular conversation so there's no need to do so in a poem either the secret is to keep it simple and keep it natural let the poem inform your movement some poems like Jabberwocky lend themselves to more dramatic movement whereas other poems like the lake Isle of Innisfree require no movement at all still others are somewhere in the middle like this children's poem but if my papa goes into the house and mama she goes into I just sit still like a little mouse for the moo cow moo moo and the moo cow's tail is like a piece of rope I'll Ravel doubt where it grows and it's just like feeling a piece of soap all over the Moo cows nose if you still really have absolutely no idea what to do with your hands the rule of thumb is this keep your arms bent elbows relaxed and loose at your sides hands gently linked from this position you're ready to make natural gestures whenever you need them tip number 5 be natural and have fun yes there's that word natural again but it really is the cornerstone of performing poetry once you have all these elements together have fun practicing your poem until it becomes second nature and just flows out naturally remember to to have fun with the language because language and sound are what poetry is all about and there you have it with a little bit of practice you'll soon be doing your poem justice and doing poetry right thank you for joining me and if you'd like to see more examples of poetry readings and performance please visit me at my poetry video blog no water river calm bye bye

49 thoughts on “5 Tips for Poetry Performance: Doing Poetry Right with Renee M. LaTulippe

  1. I won 1st place on my poem and I have to read it tomorrow at school I'm scared lol and I need expression.🤐😥😣

  2. Excellent! I have to share mine. Don't worry I'm published – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCQvgRSqCfE

  3. I’ve got to write a poem and present it in front of my class pretty soon, this video has been helpful in giving me an idea on how I should present!

  4. Thx for the tips it’s quite late here but I have to read out a war poem I wrote in front of the whole school (about 800 people) in Christmas assembly (completely unrelated to the poem)tomorrow morning! I have terrible stage fright and I haven’t practiced at all because my sister is with me I’m even scared to do it front of her! My English teacher asked me to read it for her when everyone went out along with my other friend (who can’t do it now) and she said my friend was perfect but I need to slow down and read more dramatic balhblah (basically I’m rubbish) I asked what if I don’t want to do it and she just said ‘it would be an awful shame and we’d have to change the whole thing’ someone helpppp quick D;

  5. Can youu plzzzzzz………..😐😑 make a video with a poemm I celebate Myself by Walt Whitman …. because Im not sure how say it and the competion will be next wensday omggg… so nervous…. if someone can do this for me Im going to bee realllyyyy reallyy :: Me: Thank youu sooo muchhhh 😂😆😆😜😛😝…

  6. Day after tommorow is my competition before everything my mind starts exploding and i shake while i am in front of the mike can u give some how to relive axiety tips plzz

  7. I'm going to perform after 3 days in front of a large number of people. 💔 My first time standing in front of an audience will be a poem 😫 RIP lol

  8. Thank you so very much for your most helpful video. Because of you I was able to do my poetry reading tonight and feel comfortable. It went well. Thank you so very much!!

  9. poetry doesn't have to be held captive by the stiff and still. it can bounce along on the waves at sea or take a tumble like Jack and Jill.

    oh cursed are the words of the ignorant at best, for theirs are the words of death. and at apointed time the words shall rhythm or sink to the utter depth.

    if the tongue holds the power of life and death, I shall choose the power of life. for it overtakes the darkest forces and stands with God abreast.
    A. Dueck

  10. Thank you so much for the tips! I have been joining solo verse speaking for 6 years now and last year I got second and this year I hope to win the first position. So I'm trying my best for it! The competition is in mid-Nov , so I'm freaking out nonetheless.

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