Poetry for Life: Guide for Competitors


Each competitor must recite two poems, one International and one South African, chosen from the list on our website.
Each competitor will first say his/her International poem, and after a break, his/her South African poem.

Here are some pointers to help with the presentation of your poems


Stand with good posture and relax with your hands at your sides.
You will be introduced to the audience so it is not necessary to say your name.
Say the title of the poem and the poet’s name then pause before reciting the poem.

Presentation of poem:

Minimal gestures are allowed but the poem may not be acted out! Use meaningful gestures. Too many gestures detract from the saying of the poem.
Do – stand with your feet slightly apart for good balance
Don’t – rock on your feet or pace up and down
Don’t change the poem. You may not add in words or repeat lines. It is the poet’s work you are presenting, so you must repeat the poet’s words.
Don’t rush through the poem, enjoy presenting it.
Allow for variation in your voice with tones/ pace and volume.
Use facial expression.
When your poem finishes – pause (count to 5 in your head) - and then exit slowly with good posture.
There is no need to say thank-you, and don’t run off the stage.


Please check the website for guidance on the accuracy (Accuracy Form under Download)
Punctuation is very important!! Make sure you are following the punctuation marks.
Let someone else check that you have not swopped words around or replaced them with other words. This can happen very easily and marks will be deducted.

www.poetryforlife.co.za - 23 April 2019