MHS Poetry Out Loud competition

Lindsey Bertsch’s expressive performance of Thomas Hardy’s poem “Channel Firing,” about the horrors of war. made an impression on judges Tuesday during the Poetry Out Loud competition at Minot High School-Magic City Campus.

“That night your great guns, unawares,” Bertsch intoned. “Shook all our coffins as we lay, and broke the chancel window-squares, We thought it was the Judgement-day.”

Bertsch, a junior at Magic City Campus, said she likes the image of the cannon fire being loud enough to wake the dead. “Thomas Hardy is one of my favorite poets,” said Bertsch.

Bertsch, the first-place winner, was one of 10 contestants in the third annual poetry recital competition at the high school. She will now go on to compete at the state competition on March 3. The state winner will go on to compete in a national contest.

The second-place winner was Joby Walter, who recited “Sheet Music,” by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, and the third-place winner was Linnea Maxfield, who receited “The Painter,” by John Ashbery.

Bertsch has participated in the school’s theater and speech programs, but she said the poetry competition was different. She had never been asked to perform alone on a stage in front of such a loud crowd. Winning brought happy tears to her eyes.

Poetry Out Loud is a national competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation. The poems performed must be selected from a poetry anthology given to schools prior to the contest.