The Form 3 Poetry Competition

The poem I recited was called Alone by Maya Angelou. When picking my poem the only thing I knew was that I wanted it to have an effect on people, so that they are left wondering and reflecting on what has just been said to them.

Once I came across Maya Angelou’s work, I knew that she was the poet I was going to choose. Her strong voice and tenacious words were just what I was looking for. The only problem I was faced with was which poem to choose… She had filled five award-winning poetry books with her beautiful and powerful words, but I was only allowed to choose one. I was reading and scrolling through her different poems and, although they were all very powerful, I didn’t feel that I really connected to them. I simply understood them and enjoyed reading them. However, I thought that unless I connected with the poem I wouldn’t be able to deliver a presentation to the best of my abilities. But, when I read through Alone I was thrilled – I found the poem that I wouldn’t mind memorising, analysing and presenting. I had found the poem that I felt I connected to.

Alone not only clearly portrayed Maya Angelou’s strong and independent voice, it empowered people, especially women, all while giving a very clear message. Of course, the message could be interpreted in different ways, however, I believe that no matter what way someone interprets this poem the overall effect will still be the same. I think that the poem is suggesting that isolating ourselves from love, connections and relationships causes us to be weak and vulnerable. As humans, we need affection and attention to carry on being healthy and happy. I think that that message will really speak to and stay with the audience. Some people believe that they are above compassion, love and connections, that they can’t let their guard down and share their life with someone. My hope and belief is that after hearing or reading this poem, they will realise that affection and connection are not signs of weakness; they’re a sign of humanity.

Aliya – F3