"Read a poem" implies to read it aloud from a book or other written text. "Recite a poem" implies to quote it verbatim, without the need of a text. Therefore, "to recite a poem" is to verbally reproduce it exactly as written.
Poetry is known by many names - verse, poems, lyrics, stanzas - but they all refer to words arranged in lines and verses. Originally, a poem was anything said or sung for pleasure or profit, but today this definition is restricted to literature that uses formal rhyme and meter to create a balanced composition. Poems can be as short as a few lines or as long as several books. Some poems are even divided into parts to be read at different times (e.g., an epic poem like The Iliad).
What is unique about poetry is its ability to convey thoughts and feelings in language. Many people consider poetry to be beautiful, inspiring, and/or entertaining. These qualities make poetry popular among readers and performers.
Many great poets have been well-known throughout history, including Horace, Milton, Blake, Dickinson, Stevens, and Ginsberg.
This ngram demonstrates that "recite" is mostly used for reading poems aloud. This ngram demonstrates that "recite" is likewise most commonly used with "nursery rhymes," but that "sing" and "speak" are almost as frequently employed. Recite a poem to me, Mama, one you remember or learnt. Recite a poem by Edgar Allan Poe. Recite a poem by William Wordsworth.
However, "recite" can also be used to describe someone singing a song, as in "the conductor led his orchestra in a lengthy recital." And this sense of "read aloud" is still current among children's readers who read from written scripts of stories or poems.
Thus, "to recite a poem" means to read it aloud. To "recite poetry" is to read it aloud to a group for entertainment. To "recite a speech" is to give a talk before an audience, explaining some idea or concept. All these activities are called "reciting poems/speeches."
Speakers at events often like to include references to famous people words with which they want to connect themselves or their topics. These "allusions" are phrases or sentences containing words or terms unique to the alluding speaker or event.
The goal of recitation is to convey the meaning of a poem through its words. A profound absorption of the poetry, rather than exaggerated motions, will be required for a good presentation. Appropriate interpretation improves the audience's knowledge and pleasure of the poetry without overshadowing its language. Interpretation can be as simple as vocalizing the text along with the recording or it can involve detailed analysis of imagery or other aspects of the poem.
Recitation is used in many different settings - from classroom lessons to public readings - and by a variety of speakers including teachers, librarians, counselors, poets themselves. Reciters often use music as an accompaniment but not all poems require musical support. Recording devices such as microphones are used to capture the speech of the reciter but live presentations are also common. Regardless of the setting, people usually want to hear or see something of value when listening to or viewing art - including poetry. Thus, selection of material is important if recitation is going to be effective.
Poems that convey information, express ideas, or move readers/listeners to action are appropriate for recitation. Many classic works of literature are set to music or spoken by actors; these are excellent choices for recitation programs. Poems that use obscure vocabulary or complex metaphors may not be easy to interpret correctly - even with help from a teacher or mentor-but these challenges add to their appeal when faced by listeners who enjoy thinking for themselves.
Reading engages both the sight and the thoughts. Listening involves the use of one's intellect, hearing, and, in certain cases, sight as we observe the speaker. When we pick up the poem to read aloud, our eyes perceive the words, and our voices and bodies become active as well, and the poem begins to take on dimensions beyond its condition on the page. Reading poems aloud helps us appreciate their rhythmic quality and their allusion to speech. It also enables us to enjoy a poem's subtleties at a deeper level because we can focus on each word and phrase instead of being distracted by the flow of the text.
Listening to poems encourages us to engage with their meaning more deeply. We think about what was said rather than simply reading for information or entertainment. Poems are able to reach into our minds and touch our emotions precisely because we have time to reflect on them afterwards. This isn't always the case when we're reading for information or enjoyment - unless we make an effort to understand the poem's subtext- then we may miss out on such insights.
Finally, listening to poems enhances our appreciation of language itself. We learn how different words sound when spoken by someone else. We notice subtle nuances of meaning in ambiguous lines. And sometimes we even find ourselves laughing or crying at words that catch our attention during the recitation. Hearing a poem read aloud reminds us of the power of language to express ideas and feelings, and inspires us to write our own poems down on paper.