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How to Read a Poem Aloud

Part of the Poetry For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Poems are designed to be read aloud — you'll get a better experience and understanding of the whole poem. Try these tips for reading poetry out loud:

  • Read silently first.

  • Note surprises and unfamiliar words.

  • Establish a positive, conversational tone.

  • Follow the music.

  • Don't rush.

  • Pause for emphasis.

  • Treat line endings with care, pausing briefly or raising your tone of voice.

  • Repeat for best results.

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