Poetry Reading: Covet Not Thy Neighbor’s Tree

2 min readMay 27, 2023

I’m undertaking a new project: reading my poems out loud.

I’ve not been to a poetry reading in a long time. But I’ve listened to some on poetry sites, and I’ve watched some on YouTube.

Most of my poems are too gentle and quiet for Slam readings.

I’ve heard people read poems in a monotone. Boring. How not to be boring? Practice. So I started practicing one of my old poems, one which I posted on my blog, so I can’t submit it to most publications. Just to make things interesting, I decided to film myself and post it on YouTube.

What? That’s crazy!

Yeah, it is. And this first one is not very pretty. I look like an awkward old lady. My hair is disheveled, even though I brushed it just minutes before. And though I used my good camera, the video quality is poor-I don’t know why. I couldn’t focus it right. Maybe next time I’ll use a different background. And though I practiced reading it for several days before filming, this was the fourth take, and I still made a mistake-I said “passerbys” instead of “passersby.” I decided not to tempt fate by recording it again, because bad as it was, it was way better than the three previous attempts.

Future videos can only get better, right?

My poem is a sonnet. It has a particular rhyme scheme. It’s in iambic pentameter, each line made up of five units consisting of an unaccented syllable followed by an accented syllable: ta TAH, ta TAH, ta TAH, ta TAH, ta TAH. (But I try not to read it that way.) It has three 4-line stanzas, followed by a couplet at the end.

Originally published at http://arhtisticlicense.com on May 27, 2023.




Former elementary general music teacher. Wife, mother of 5, grandma of 3. Blogging about the arts and the creative process at https://ARHtisticLicense.com.