Most poets recite other poets’ poems better than they do their own. It seems that most of us let ourselves into the door and the whole house of another’s poem; whereas, with our own, we tend to hold back on the front porch and be a bit shy. Memorization helps us to understand a poem. We have to follow the mind of the poet; we recreate the logic, experience, and feelings that put the poem together. No one can ever know the struggle to make poetry out of experience except the poet who did it; nevertheless, memorizing a poem is as close as another person can get to composing one.
~ TOI DERRICOTTE
“For a poem to be recited to a living audience is its big break in show business. A poem in the air is not the same poem as it was on the page—the drama and charm of its unfolding is completely, particularly alive and intimate as it passes from one body into another. And the excitement of hearing a good poem in such a way is like a roller-coaster ride”.
~ TONY HOAGLAND