Two-voice poetry is written for two people to perform. The poetry usually has two columns—one for each person who is reading the poem. Each person reading the poem reads the text in one of the columns. Sometimes, the poet wants the two readers to say something at the same time; so the poet writes the words on the same line in each column. These poems often sound like a dialogue for two people.
Two-voice poems are meant to be performed aloud. Students can practice reading aloud two-voice poems in pairs or in front of the class. When preparing to write a two-voice poem, a teacher might suggest the following:
• poems should be written to summarize a key concept from a lesson
• poems may quote sections of text, but should also contain original ideas and writing
• poems’ voices should be balanced so that one speaker does not dominate
• poems can be written in the form of a rap.
This can be done as an in-class activity where partners collaborate on a single poem. The benefit to this is that students revisit the text together, discuss the concepts they wish to address, and collaborate on the writing.