SPEECH FESTIVAL: Nursery Rhyme – Robin Mellor

Speech 2012 Festival Poem: Nursery Rhyme – Robin Mellor

This video is a pronunciation guide for the Hong Kong 2012 Speech Festival poems – it is to demonstrate articulation only, performers should decide on how to deliver the poem!

Note that the author does not ‘sing’ this poem – hear him read it here.

Nursery Rhyme

Sing a song of nothing
with a pocket full of hand,
watch the monkey dancing
with a penguin on the sand.

See the flying rhino
eat a wrinkled peach;
the Queen of Hearts is riding by,
she’s travelling to the beach.

Five and twenty donkeys
sit in a cabbage patch,
singing sailors’ ditties
and watching mothballs hatch.

The poet ends his reading,
he thinks he is alone,
so all the trees pull up their skirts
and make a dash for home.

Here are a few useful tips…

  • Make sure you understand your poem. Ask for help if there are any words you don’t know. Think about when and where the poem is set. What is the message? The meaning?
  • Try to find out about the author.
  • Make sure you can remember your poem well. Read it aloud, practice at home, write it down and learn it line-by-line, piece-by-piece. Perform your poem for your mom, dad, helper, grandparents, cat, dog, me – anyone who will listen.
  • Use expression and intonation carefully. This means you should show some emotion and use your voice to match your poem. Express the exciting parts, sad parts and happy parts. However, don’t get over-excited and try to keep your body and hands still – most judges do not like actions or body language.
  • Take breaks, relax, don’t be nervous. Take a deep breath before reading!
  • Go to howjsay.com for help with pronunciation or download this video as an MP3 to your computer/ipod/phone.
  • Find more tips and advice here: http://bit.ly/R0nVwJ and here.

Below is a 2010 presentation on the Hong Kong Speech Festival, shared with permission from HKU’s Gary Harfitt…

Good luck!

– Mr Tom.

Speech Festival 2012