Poetry and Singing


The event of Poetry lets competitors capture the musicality of language through verse.  Did you know though that Poetry allows for speakers to literally sing for a limited amount of time during the round?  Check local league rules for a specific time restraint; thirty seconds seems to be the norm.  What a direct method to express the lyrical quality of verse.  In an event where competitors can actually choose to use lyrics from actual songs this does seem appropriate.  Or is it?

There is the possibility that singing during a Poetry round for thirty seconds can become tacky.  If using song lyrics does the audience really need to hear a rendition to be reminded?  For that matter, will your singing match or enthrall the audience as much?  To be fair, not everyone’s vocal chords were designed for singing.  Harsh.  But this is a fact, and these are all considerations to think of if the idea of singing appeals.

Although, the opposite could be true.  Singing might add poignancy to your piece.  Poetry is about emotion and good singing effects us profoundly.  If placed properly, timed well, sung beautifully, and fully appropriate for the atmosphere of your piece, singing could set you above the competition.  Further, singing is one of those talents that empresses people; including judges.

If you do decide to sing, because song is as varied as verse, your Poetry piece can become quite dynamic.  There is that “choir” voice of professional, clean elegance.  You could be edgy with a rock and roll attitude.  Rap is even considered singing (it does keep time with music and follows a rhythm).  There is a limitless pool of styles to test–certainly one for almost any selection.  This does raise the fun factor of Forensics, and adds one more layer of creativity to Poetry.

Consider all these outcomes, possibilities, and benefits if thinking of using song in your Poetry selection.  There is much to be gained and much to be lost.  Poetry itself is a tricky event with binding together poems for piece compilations; adding singing into the equation further complicates the intricacies.  Always, always think of what is best for the piece first, rather than what you want.  If your Poetry selection’s mood, rhythm…EVERYTHING will embrace song, then there is no reason why you should not too.

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And above all, have fun!

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