Words Take Flight at Recite Night

Isabella Cely-Garcia, Staff Writer


The smell of cookies and milk wafts out of the auditorium, the hum of the small band in a corner of the theater trailing out. Students mill about, waiting expectantly for the National English Honor Society President, Rebecca Lim, to announce the first performer. 

   This year was PPCHS’ Seventh Annual Recite Night, a NEHS tradition that has been going strong for several years now. Students who participated in previous years have found the experience so memorable, that they chose to come back in the years that followed and try their hand at becoming a finalist. Senior Riley Bauer became a Recite Night finalist on Wednesday. “I decided to perform because I attended Recite Night last year and it was actually really cool to watch and it just seemed like a fun opportunity to get myself more involved in poetry, which I’ve taken an interest in in the past few years.” 

   While performers like Riley are nurturing a budding love for poetry, others have long seen this hobby turn into a passion. Helen Godoy, a fellow senior, expressed her love for recitation and poetry. Helen performed last year as well and found herself drawn back to the event. “Poetry Out Loud allows me to experience that joy in performing. I also really like poetry. They are so short but the words really allow you to experience intense emotions.” 

   While the performers did feel a rush of emotions in the moment, it took a lot of skill and practice to hone their recitation to perfection. They couldn’t do this without ample support from teachers and friends. “Ms. Phelps gives us the opportunity to recite our poems in class, which I really appreciated because it allowed me a sort of ‘test run’”, Riley said, grateful for the extra practice. Helen also said she couldn’t have done it without help from those in her life. “Preparing for the poems was scary. I performed in front of a lot of different people just so I could get comfortable with doing it in front of an audience.” 

   Still, there were a few hiccups throughout the night. Riley admits at one point her delivery was a little off, but she’s still proud of placing in the Top 10. Helen similarly feels she did well, even with a small mistake in her recitation. “I think my performance went well, I messed up right at the beginning but I finished strong. I honestly thought I was going to go blank because of being in front of everyone and the lights all on me but the poem just made its way out.” The night turned out successful for both girls, as well as everyone else who performed, as the cheers from the packed crowd rang out throughout the span of the hour and a half event.

   While Riley and Helen were both proud of their own performances, both girls admit that their favorite parts of Recite Night were seeing their friends perform, cheering them on from the audience, celebrating and sharing the love for poetry and spoken word with the whole school.