Memorize a Poem?


I came upon this article about memorizing a poem about three months ago, bookmarked it, and then promptly forgot about it. Until today, when I found the bookmark. I don’t usually memorize things, have never felt that I was good at it. I remember poems, and sometimes specific lines, but it is more like I feel the poem, know its essence, rather than know the actual lines, but I realize that I am missing out on part of the wonder of a poem.

So, one of my goals for this month is to try to memorize a poem.
Memorize a Poem- Poets.org – Poetry, Poems, Bios & More.

Included in the poets.org post is a link to “Great Poems to Teach”, so I’ve decided to memorize two of poems from this list this month.

The first one, somewhere i have travelled, gladly beyond, by e.e. cummings is one that I’ve been thinking about finding since watching a clip from Hannah and Her Sisters the other day. I’ve always remembered the line not even the rain has such small hands. I want to know all of the lines that lead up to the last line about the rain.

The second poem is What my lips have kissed, and where, and why (Sonnet XLIII) by Edna St. Vincent Millay. I’ve read this poem before, but had forgotten about it. I read it again today and it resonated with me, especially the lines below. Love the imagery of the ghost-filled rainy night tapping on the window.

but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.

Any body want to join me? Try memorizing two poems for no other reason than the joy of carrying around in your brain a piece of wonder?

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One response to “Memorize a Poem?

  1. I was educated in a school system that required a lot of memorizing, being born and raised in Hong Kong until I moved with my family to Canada in my high school years. That was decades ago. But looking back now, I appreciate the skill of memorization I had learned, taking to heart the many literature pieces (in Chinese) and Bible verses (in English). And in high school here in Canada I was introduced to the Romantics poets, and loved the poems of Wordsworth’s. And even though the teacher did not require of us, I went on to memorize a few and can still recite them by heart.