[caption id="attachment_11434" align="alignleft" width="400"]<a href="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2016\/02\/DSC_0003.jpg"><img src="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2016\/02\/DSC_0003.jpg" alt="At the Pocahontas County High School Poetry Out Loud recitation, senior Emily Boothe, left, won first place, and sophomore Mary Grace Rich, right, won second. Boothe will compete at the state level in March. S. Stewart photo" width="400" height="271" class="size-full wp-image-11434" \/><\/a> At the Pocahontas County High School Poetry Out Loud recitation, senior Emily Boothe, left, won first place, and sophomore Mary Grace Rich, right, won second. Boothe will compete at the state level in March. S. Stewart photo[\/caption]\r\n\r\nSuzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nPocahontas County High School English students showed their prowess for poetry during the annual Poetry Out Loud competition.\r\nStudents were tasked with memorizing and reciting a classic poem from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology.\r\n\r\nThis year, senior Emily Boothe placed first with her recitation of \u201cThe Rain\u201d by Robert Creely. Second place went to sophomore Mary Grace Rich for her recitation of \u201cCandles\u201d by Carl Dennis.\r\n\r\nBoth students said they selected the poems based on familiarity and meaning.\r\n\r\n\u201cI did \u2018The Rain\u2019 in eleventh grade and I just really liked it,\u201d Boothe said. \u201cThat\u2019s why I stuck with it.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201c[\u2018Candles\u2019] has a lot of meaning to it and it felt kind of personal,\u201d Rich said.\r\n\r\nBoothe will represent PCHS at the state competition in March. The competition requires students to recite three poems \u2013 one that is pre-19th century, one that is 25 lines or less, and one that is a combination of both criteria.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019ve selected \u2018Floating Island\u2019 by Dorothy Wordsworth, \u2018Echo\u2019 by Christina Rossetti and \u2018The Rain\u2019 by Robert Creely,\u201d Boothe said.\r\n\r\nRich said she plans to compete again next year.\r\n\r\nThe Poetry Out Loud website, www.poetryout hloud.org states that the competition is designed to encourage \u201cthe nation\u2019s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.\u201d The program helps students build their public speaking skills, as well as their self-confidence.\r\n\r\nPoetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and U.S. state arts agencies.