As a part of the Arts Alive program, Dr. Laura Smith’s ENG-385/402 The Sonnet Since Shakespeare class brought poetry to the new Garrison Quad on the Owing Mills Campus. This has been the first outdoor pop-up installation of the Arts Alive program to help bring attention to the amazing new space on the Owing Mills Campus and bring the beauty of poetry to students. The sonnets were followed by a performance by the Stevenson University Drumline and the Step Team. There was a lively turnout and much support for the whole event.
Performing poetry is not an easy thing, there are many moving parts in it that have to work together for the performance to be effective. The most important part of this is having the speaker really understand the meaning of the poem that they are performing. The meaning of a poem varies from speaker to speaker but there in lies the beauty of the recitation. You can hear the same poem a hundred times but gain new meaning from every recitation. As part of the class that performed for Sonnets on the Green, I found that I enjoyed it immensely. Speaking the poem aloud forced me to find ways to read through the line breaks, find a way to establish the tone, and create meaning for people. It is a different way of understanding poetry than simply reading it from a page.