Poetry For Dummies
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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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The Poetry Center in San Francisco sponsors readings and awards and houses a renowned poetry archive. John Timpane, Ph.D., is the author of It Could Be Verse: Anybody's Guide to Poetry. Maureen Watts is a writer and longtime poetry activist who serves on the board of the National Poetry Association

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