I began with Wind by Hughes and then The Given Note by Heaney. Learning them was straightforward, taking a few days for each via a process of mentally repeating a small number of lines at a time. I found it helpful in both cases to listen to others reading the poems so as to catch the rhythm. I have a recording of Heaney reading his own poem (in The Poet and the Piper) and I copied his intonations. For example, in the line:
The house throbbed like his full violinmy initial prononciation was Vih-Oh-Lin in three even syllables, whereas Heaney says it more quickly, Viah-Lin, which makes the line flow better I believe.
Learning Soir d'hiver by Nelligan was rather more complicated. First I went looking for some good translations so as to ensure I really understood it. I particularly like this translation by Clarissa Ackroyd. (Her blog, The Stone and the Star, is a revelation of fine poetic things, and I love the name Clarissa - reminds me of Mrs Dalloway...) Next I went looking for a reading of the poem to hear its music and I settled on this one by Gilles-Claude Thériault - I find the background music in the recording to be a bit distracting but his voice is wonderful. The final part of the process was subjecting one of my francophone children to my recital and Tristan was patient with me, correcting my errors in return for me setting up the laptop he got for Christmas. For some reason the following line took me a long time to say to his satisfaction:
Je suis la nouvelle NorvègeIt contains the first accent grave in the poem after a run of accents aigu, and in combination with an "r" it gave me some trouble. Anyway I can now pronounce it to Tristan's satisfaction, even if he says I still sound like an anglophone...
I'm currently learning Bridge by Jim Harrison, which presents different challenges. More news on that shortly.