I have often used the verb "recite" to mean reading from the memory. But just recently found that the accurate meaning is doing it aloud or in front of an audience:

Cambridge dictionary:

to repeat aloud from memory.

She recited a poem in front of the class.

Oxford Learner's:

[transitive, intransitive] to say a poem, piece of literature, etc. that you have learned, especially to an audience.

So is there another synonymous verb that means just saying/repeating a poem, not aloud and by oneself?

For example:

I was ________ this poem while walking back home.

2 Answers 2


"Subvocalize" may be the proper terminology but it would not be my first choice. I don't have a single neat word for it; instead I would use "recite" and modify it to make it clear I wasn't actually speaking aloud:

I was reciting this poem in my head while walking home.


You could use ‘subvocalise’.

Utter or form (words or sounds) with the lips silently or with barely audible sound, especially when talking to oneself, memorizing something, or reading.


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