Delia Tager projects her poetic talents to States


Credit: Benjy Renton

Delia performed two poems in the school-wide Poetry Out Loud competition.

By Christian Riegler, Photography Editor

It is sometimes difficult to put into context the infamous story of Michael Jordan being cut from his high school basketball team, but junior Delia Tager embodies this very same perseverance and eventual master of her craft with regard to Poetry Out Loud.

Although cut from her English class round her freshman year, she worked very hard at reciting of poems. In recognition of this hard work, English teacher Michael Canterino picked Delia as the “wildcard” for the school-wide competition. The winner of such a wildcard is any student that the English teachers believe should go on to the school-wide competition despite not being winning the class rounds.

Delia recited two poems titled “April Love” and “The Way It Sometimes Is” during this school-wide competition in her freshman year and won her way to states. In the State competition at SUNY Purchase, Delia recited the same poems along with kids from the Westchester and NYC area and placed third, carrying her victories to regionals. In the regionals, students from all across the Tri-State Area are able to share their passions for poetry.

In her sophomore year, Delia decided to continue her passion for reciting poems, and try out for the school competition, performing “The Way It Sometimes Is” and “The Secrets of Lice.” Her outstanding performances once again lead her all the way up to regionals. Delia enjoys reciting poems because she finds it difficult to put in the intense amount of work associated with doing theater and memorizing lines especially with the school workload she already has, but Poetry Out Loud is a perfect balance between theater and her interest in poetry. Behind the scenes, she puts a lot of time and work into developing meaning with her recitations.

This work includes many meetings with English teachers Sean Francis and Mr. Canterino, who help Delia convey meaning through her voice. “With recitation you’re not supposed to use actions, but inflections and pauses in your voice are really the only creative license you have,” said Delia. Though Delia found it difficult to understand the subjective judging that prevented her from going to nationals last year, she was not discouraged with her interest in poem recitation.

Now this year, Delia’s junior year, she is excited to go to States after winning the school-wide competitions because of all the hard work she has put into developing her skills these past few years. For the State competition, Poetry Out Loud requires that Delia recites a poem written pre-20th century and another poem that is 25 lines or longer in length. For states, Delia has chosen to recite the poems “The Secrets of Lice” and “From Blossoms.”