Teaching Writing

Listen Up! Cadence and Rhythm in Poetry: Prompts for Writing Outside

“More people than ever are slowly but surely turning their ears toward poetry.” – Saul Williams

With a focus on sound and rhythm, two-voice poems are poems written to be read aloud by one or more readers in what is known as spoken word poetry.

The vibrant setting of a collective mural covered corner of Idaho called Freak Alley inspired a group of students to write bi-lingual spoken word poems based on the rhythms and cadences of the art and intersecting communities found there. In the video below, you’ll hear some of their ‘two-voice’ poetry and you’ll be asked to observe the cadences and intersections found at an outdoor space near you.

Writing “Sparks”

Spark from Boise State University Writing Project – Write a two-voiced spoken word poem inspired by the cadence, rhythm, beats, and intersections found at an outdoor space near you.

Content focus: Cadence in poetry/Spoken-word poetry
Age-level recommendations: early writers, intermediate writers, advanced writers
Time: 5:59

Cecilia Pattee and her students find inspiration in the art and intersecting communities surrounding Freak Alley of Boise and create bi-lingual, two-voice poems to capture the visual rhythms, cadences, and beats of this iconic outdoor space.

More About Spoken Word and Two Voice Poetry

Below are related resources gathered to further support inquiry and exploration of this topic. If you have additional resources to recommend, please share them online via the hashtag #writeout

Spoken Word explained: A “broad designation for poetry intended for performance” from the Poetry Foundation.

Poetry In Voice – Two Voice Poem Lesson Plan: A two-voice poem is written in two columns. Two students read the poem, and each chooses a column to read. When there are words that appear on the same line, the students read those words in unison (written for grades 8-10).

Writing to Learn: Using Poetry in Two Voices : by Lesley Roessing published by the Association for Middle Level Education

This post is part of the Poetry-powered Prompts for Writing Outside collection.