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State Finals – Poetry Out Loud

March 12, 2018

Join us for an afternoon of poetry

No one is reciting the poem, Eating Poetry below but there are plenty of other poems that 11 Maine high school students will be reciting on Wednesday, March 14, 3:00 p.m., Waterville Opera House. The doors open at 2:30 to the public when you can enjoy a performance by Waterville High School students under the direction of Sue Barre, music educator extraordinaire! There is no cost to attend and I promise that the student reciters will be spectacular! The audiences were WOWED at the Southern and Northern Maine regional finals held during the last month.

We are very proud that Maine consistently ranks high amongst the U.S. national participation. This year, 9,500 Maine students from 39 high schools participated across the state. And now, 11 students advance to the Poetry Out Loud State Finals, being broadcast live on March 14 from the Waterville Opera House.

The Arts Commission is collaborating with Boothbay Region Television to broadcast the state finals live throughout the state, as well as streaming the event via Facebook Live.
To see the students who will move onto the Maine Poetry Out Loud State Finals and hear their recitations from the state regional competition, click here. If you can’t make it to Waterville, remember to tune in live on the Maine Arts Commission Facebook page.

In the meantime, check out Eating Poetry by Mark Strand. This is one of the hundreds of poems that students selected from for their three poems.

Eating Poetry

By Mark Strand

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

  • Mark Strand, “Eating Poetry” from Selected Poems. Copyright © 1979, 1980 by Mark Strand. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Poetry Out Loud is organized nationally by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation and administered at the state level by the Maine Arts Commission.

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