Click here: HOW TO READ POEMS 


Click here: Maya Angelou’s Mandela Tribute Poem

sesame street


Start your recitation with the title of the poem and the poet’s name:

‘Still I Rise, By Maya Angelou”

Then begin your recitation.

Once you’ve finished your recitation say “thank you” and walk away.


Establish a strong stage presence by practising the following:

  • Use good posture. Look confident.
  • Use eye contact with the entire audience. Don’t focus only on the judges.
  • Avoid Nervous gestures, poor eye contact with the audience.
  • Relax and be natural.


Use your voice to make the poem come alive for the audience.

  •         Capture the attention of everyone.
  •         Don’t yell for good projection.
  •         Proceed at a natural pace. Avoid reciting too quickly or too slowly.
  •         Make sure you know how to pronounce every word in your poem.
  •         Let your voice rise and fall with the poem.
  •         Decide how long a pause to use for each punctuation mark.
  •         Avoid mispronouncing words.
  •        Avoid being too loud or too quiet.


When you recite, you’re more like a narrator than an actor.

  • Do not act out the poem. Too much dramatization distracts from the language of the poem.
  •  Depending on the poem, occasional gestures may be appropriate.
  •  Make sure each poem you choose is one that speaks to you. If you are able to connect with a poem


If you don’t understand your poem, neither will your audience.

  • You must understand the poem fully. Be attentive to the meaning of your poem.
  • Be sure you know the meaning of every word and line in your poem. Double-check any words that are new to you.
  •  Research your poem and discuss it with your teacher. Once you understand your poem, you can prepare your recitation.


  •   Be sure to memorize your poem exactly as it appears in the list of poems.   But also be sure you understand the poem.

 Enjoy your poem!

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