Oral Interpretation of Poetry

1. Purpose. The purpose of this event is encourage students to obtain a wide knowledge and appreciation of poets and their poetry, and to increase their ability to share with others the full meaning intended by the author by interpreting from the manuscript.

2. Rules.

a. The participant shall select, cut, and arrange one long poem or a group of poems unified by either a central theme or the writings of one author.

b. The presentation shall include introductory remarks to heighten the understanding of the theme or the poet's works. Transitions are optional.

c. Time limit including such remarks shall be not fewer than six nor more than eight minutes.

d. The arrangement shall be interpreted from manuscript with or without lectern.

3. Judging Standards.

a. Poetry is written to be read aloud; therefore, poetry interpretation is regarded as recreating the thoughts and emotions of the poet in the minds of the audience.

b. On assigning rank or ratings, the critic should take into consideration the worthwhileness and appropriateness of the poems chosen by the student, the effectiveness of the cutting and arrangement, and the adequacy of the introductory and transitional remarks which unify the presentation.

c. In interpreting poetry from a manuscript, the meaning should be conveyed primarily through the voice with the aid of the appropriate body action, eye contact, and other mechanisms of delivery.

d. The contestant should be observed for naturalness and emotional responsiveness.

e. While effective use of rhythm can contribute to interpretation, it should not become "sing-song" or monotonous.

f. The final test of good poetry interpretation is the ability of the contestant to cause the audience to forget that they are listening to a contest.

4. Disqualification Criteria

a. Not using a script.

5. Lowering Rank Criteria.

a. Overtime (exceeding 30 seconds).

b. Undertime (exceeding 30 seconds).