A stanza above the rest – Poetry Out Loud winners

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
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

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Pocahontas County High School English students showed their prowess for poetry during the annual Poetry Out Loud competition.
Students were tasked with memorizing and reciting a classic poem from the Poetry Out Loud Anthology.

This year, senior Emily Boothe placed first with her recitation of “The Rain” by Robert Creely. Second place went to sophomore Mary Grace Rich for her recitation of “Candles” by Carl Dennis.

Both students said they selected the poems based on familiarity and meaning.

“I did ‘The Rain’ in eleventh grade and I just really liked it,” Boothe said. “That’s why I stuck with it.”

“[‘Candles’] has a lot of meaning to it and it felt kind of personal,” Rich said.

Boothe will represent PCHS at the state competition in March. The competition requires students to recite three poems – one that is pre-19th century, one that is 25 lines or less, and one that is a combination of both criteria.

“I’ve selected ‘Floating Island’ by Dorothy Wordsworth, ‘Echo’ by Christina Rossetti and ‘The Rain’ by Robert Creely,” Boothe said.

Rich said she plans to compete again next year.

The Poetry Out Loud website, www.poetryout hloud.org states that the competition is designed to encourage “the nation’s youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and recitation.” The program helps students build their public speaking skills, as well as their self-confidence.

Poetry Out Loud is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation and U.S. state arts agencies.

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