As a procrastinator, "Poetry Out Loud" is one of those things where I am always waiting until the last minute to memorize my poem. It is not a very good thing to do because the next day its lost from my memory. I am sure this is true of many other students who participate in the contest.
The process for many students of picking a poem usually is trying to find the shortest poem that seems easiest to memorize. A lot of my friends I have talked to have fallen under the same path. It seems like a pointless thing to find a meaningful poem, we just want to be able to recite it and get an A. However, there are many other ways to being able to memorize a poem that will actually help you out...
"Choose a short poem that you like.
If you're allowed to choose your poem it is best to choose a short one. This will help you to learn and master these memorization skills easily. Work your way up to memorizing longer poems.