Writer:Nur Anisa Febriani
Institution:Universitas Pamulang

Poetry is a literary work that contains beautiful words, usually the meaning of poetry is connotative. In a poem there are elements that are bound in it such as rhythm, spell, rhyme, lines, and stanzas. Valery, P. (n.d) states that “Poetry is an art based on language, but poetry has more general meaning that is difficult to define because it is less determine; poetry also expresses a certain state of mind”. In reading poetry there is declamation, namely reading poetry with deep appreciation accompanied by style and song. Borges (1977) says that :

“Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. A good poem does not allow itself to be read in a low voice or silently. If we can read it silently, it is not a valid poem: a poem demands pronunciation. Poetry always remembers that it was an oral art before it was a written art. It remembers that it was first song.”

Reading poetry gives pleasure to its readers, enlightens the senses, connects us with ourselves and others, and makes us think synthetically because of the concise language used in its creation, such language makes poetry convey many things in a short form. As a result, reading and understanding poetry is more difficult than reading and understanding other literary genres. These words are both informative and expressive, conveying the poet’s tone and attitude. Reading poetry allows us to discover deep truths we were unaware we already knew. It is not only a means of expression, but also a new way of knowing and seeing problems. That is why, when reading poetry, one must take the proper steps. Here are the steps in reciting poetry such as understand the content of the poem, give the right pauses, pay attention to intonation, rhyme and pronunciation, and pay attention to expressions.

Source : pinterest.com. mediasembilan.com

The first thing before reading poetry one must understand the contents of the poem first. Because in reading poetry, if the reader does not understand the contents of the poem, the delivery will feel lacking or there will be no feeling. By understanding the content of the poem, the reader is invited to explore the words of the poem, because from these words the poet conveys the intent and purpose of writing the poem. Hughes (2001) states that “Poetry is the way of communicating a vast array of thoughts and feeling by concentrating them into minimal, or even single points which describe a whole”. Understanding the content of poetry not only helps someone understand the meaning conveyed but also knows when to place the right pause.

Second, the reader of the poem must be aware of the proper placement of pauses. When reading poetry, the reader must know when to stop. In the same way that understanding poetry, if the reader does not know when to pause from word to word, stanza by stanza, the poem will be difficult to understand. Because if the pauses are not placed correctly, the listening audience will struggle to understand the poem’s tone and meaning. According to Beardon (2021, para. 4) “Poetry also uses pauses in its lines. It uses them to indicate how a piece should be read, to help rhythm and speed and sense”.  When the pause is not right, the intonation, rhyme and pronunciation will feel unbalanced.

Third, when reading a poem, you must pay attention to intonation, rhyme, and pronunciation. If you read poetry without intonation and rhyme, the poem will feel lifeless. Because intonation and rhyme give the poem a more authentic feel. The pronunciation must also be clear; it is feared that the audience will misunderstand the word for word because many words in poetry are unfamiliar to many people. As a result, the pronunciation must be clear and well-organized, and it must be accompanied by facial expressions that reflect the poetry.

Finally, the most important aspect of poetry reading is expression. If we want the other person to feel what we are feeling when we speak, we must express it through expressions such as sadness, happiness, or anger. Reading poetry is the same way. If someone does not pay attention to the expression during a poetry reading, the poetry will be conveyed flatly. If facial expressions do not reflect the content of the poem, then the feeling that the audience will get will not be conveyed perfectly. Rouse, A. (2001) states that “Poetry is about the intensity at the  centre of life, and about intricacy of expression. Without any appreciation of those, people are condemned to simplistic emotions and crued expressions”. Bringing poetry into the performance by displaying the appropriate expression will make the performance feel more colorful.

In conclusion, one cannot simply recite poetry without understanding the steps that must be taken when reading poetry. Poetry is a literary work with many connotative words, so the character conveyed in carrying poetry must be good and reflect the contents of the poem so that the message conveyed by the poem can be properly absorbed by those who see it.

Quotes of Famous People. (2021). Truly fine poetry must be read aloud. https://quotepark.com/quotes/1916486-jorge-luis-borges-truly-fine-poetry-must-be-read-aloud/

O’Driscoll, D. (2002). Pickings and Choosings. The Poetry Ireland Review Beardon, S. (2021). Converging Lives. Sounds, Silence and Imagery. https://converginglives.com/2020/08/02/pauses-in-poetry/

Silitonga, A.J & Ambarita, I. (2020). Jurnal Littera: Fakultas Sastra Darma Agung. Self-Identity
Crisis In Trisha Ashley’s Every Woman For Herself.

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