Why Is It A Good Idea To Read Poetry Aloud

Benefits of Reading Poetry Aloud

Reading poetry aloud can have many beneficial effects on a person’s language development, mental health and understanding of literature. It is no secret that poetry is an impactful form of art and a great way to unwind. People have been reading poetry aloud for centuries, enjoying the beauty and power of the written word. Here are a few reasons why reading poetry aloud is a great idea.

By reading poetry aloud, one can gain a greater level of understanding of the nuances and subtleties of language. The act of expressing this understanding through the vocalization of words can be deeply fulfilling to the reader. By reading poetry aloud, they can appreciate its beauty as well as gaining a much more detailed understanding of its meaning. Language experts often recommend reading aloud as a way to refine pronunciation and increase comprehension, as well as to understand a piece of writing more fully.

It is commonly acknowledged that reading poetry aloud can help to relax a person’s mind. An article published in The Atlantic mentioned that “there is a powerful psychological effect to speaking words of poetry aloud, a sense of deep, calming trance that can be hard to reach in any other form of language”. It is often said that the act of reading poetry aloud can help to bring a sense of serenity and peace of mind, which is why it’s often recommended for people going through difficult times. The rhythm of words and the lilting, melodic nature of poetry can be soothing to the soul.

In addition to the mental benefits, reading poetry aloud is also a wonderful way to connect with literature. By reading and hearing a poem, a person can gain a much deeper understanding and appreciation of it than if they simply read it silently. Furthermore, hearing the words and exploring the poet’s intentions can bring about a greater appreciation of the poem in its entirety. In this way, poetry becomes more than simply a piece of writing, but rather a beautiful art form with the power to move and evoke emotion.

Furthermore, reading poetry aloud can also be a great way to learn and broaden one’s literary insight. People can learn and apply aspects of the language and of literature. Through the different facets of the language, from meter and verse to diction, poetry can be used to explore and enhance one’s understanding of the written word. Moreover, reading poetry aloud can help with the development of public speaking skills, as well as a person’s ability to express themselves through language – both written and spoken.

Understanding the Poet’s Intention

Reading poetry aloud allows one to gain a greater understanding of the intention of the poet. This can be particularly helpful when exploring traditional, classic poetry. Understanding the thought process and mood behind a poem is fundamental to any reading. By reading the poem aloud and hearing the words come to life, one can gain a greater understanding of how it was written and why.

Explore the meaning of the words, sounds, and images in the poem. Pay attention to the poet’s narrative and the way their thoughts are echoed in the poem. How does their story unfold? Listen for elements like alliteration, meter, and rhyme, as well as the syntax of the poem. These elements, when read aloud, can aid in expressing the poet’s intent and convey their intentions to the reader in a more meaningful way.

This can help to make the poem much easier to understand. The poet’s true feelings and ideas can be brought to life, as if they are sharing their work with the reader. In this way, the poem can become a shared experience, one in which the reader can gain a much deeper insight into the poet’s mind.

Connection to Nature

Reading poetry aloud can also help to foster a connection to nature. Many great poets, such as William Wordsworth and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote about the beauty of nature. Nature has a profound influence on our lives and reading poetry can help to bring this to life. Nature often features prominently in poems, as poets use it to express ideas, demonstrate beauty and provide inspiration.

For this reason, reading poetry aloud can be a great way to explore nature, appreciate its beauty and connect to its power. People can be moved and inspired by the words, sounds and imagery of poetry. By connecting to these elements, one can gain a greater appreciation for the beauty of nature and have a better understanding of their place in it.

The ability to observe and appreciate the world around us is a gift, and poetry can be an invaluable tool for expression. It can help to bring attention to moments that might otherwise be overlooked. Reading poetry can help to highlight these moments and bring a deeper appreciation of the many wonders of the world.

Connection to the Past

Reading poetry aloud can also be valuable in connecting to past traditions, cultures and stories. Poetry is often used to tell stories, both personal and collective. These stories can provide a glimpse into the past, providing a valuable resource for understanding history and culture. Hear the words of stories that were passed down from generation to generation, immersing oneself in the thoughts and feelings of people from the past.

Language can be a powerful tool in connecting to one’s ancestors. By exploring different styles of poetry, one can gain a much richer understanding of the culture and values of the time. Through this exploration, we can come to appreciate not only the stories, but also the social and political context of the time.

Reading poetry aloud can also help to build bridges between different generations. It can be a shared experience that can bring people closer together, bridging the age gap and introducing a new world of understanding and appreciation between young and old. By sharing these experiences, people can learn from each other, build connections and form relationships.

Psychological Benefits of Reading Poetry Aloud

Additionally, psychological benefits can be gained from reading poetry aloud. Poetry can often be a great form of therapy and solace. By exploring the nuances and meaning behind the words, one can gain a much deeper insight into their own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Reading poetry can offer comfort and peace of mind, and can provide a great distraction from the stress, worries and anxieties of everyday life.

Poetry also provides a platform for self-expression. By reading their own or another’s poem aloud, a person can gain a better understanding of their own feelings and emotions. For example, if a person has suffered from a difficult experience, reading a poem related to that experience can help to articulate and explore those feelings in a safe and constructive way.

Reading poetry aloud can also help to promote creativity. By exploring different styles of language, structure and imagery, a person can become more inspired to write their own poems. It can offer a new perspective on language and how stories can be told. Furthermore, hearing the words read aloud can increase a person’s ability to recognize the notions previously present in their own writing.

Connection to Society

Finally, reading poetry aloud can also be beneficial in connecting to one’s community. By sharing poetry, one can open up conversations and debate on topics, ideas and stories related to their own or another’s experience. It can be a great way to listen to different perspectives, share experiences and build connections with people from different backgrounds.

Over the years, poetry has been pivotal in exchanging ideas, debating issues and bringing about social change. Heritage, history and culture can be explored through the words in a poem, as well as the social and political context of the time. By reading poetry aloud, a person can gain a greater insight into their world and the societies they’re part of.

Reading poetry aloud can also be a great way to increase language accuracy and understanding. By exploring different words and structures, a person can develop their own understanding of language and become more eloquent. This can help to reduce the stigma around cultural and language barriers, and make it easier for people to communicate their thoughts.


Reading poetry aloud is a great way to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of literature, language and the world around us. It can bring about a great many benefits, from mental health to social and educational development. Furthermore, understanding the poet’s intentions and connecting to the culture and stories of the past can help us gain a greater appreciation for language and for the world.

Dannah Hannah is an established poet and author who loves to write about the beauty and power of poetry. She has published several collections of her own works, as well as articles and reviews on poets she admires. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, with a specialization in poetics, from the University of Toronto. Hannah was also a panelist for the 2017 Futurepoem book Poetry + Social Justice, which aimed to bring attention to activism through poetry. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she continues to write and explore the depths of poetry and its influence on our lives.

Leave a Comment