I’m a terrible poet. So this isn’t about my poetry. I recently found an article about the value of memorizing verse. Being impressionable and in love with language, I’m now fully convinced of poetry’s merit and would like some in my head for quiet times. In high school, I memorized Eliot’s “The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock,” Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” and Donne’s “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning,” because I enjoyed the sound of so much beautiful language in my head. Sadly, all three are down to fragments in my mind (alongside the Gettysburg Address), but some effort will bring them back.
The plan is to choose a new poem every two weeks (roughly every other Monday). I can’t know how long each will stay in my head, especially as they pile up, but even if I only remember my favorite snippets a year from now, that’s still something. The plan is to also pick poems short enough to recite in 5 minutes or less. At this length, they’ll be easy to turn over and review in my head.
First up: “As I Walked Out One Evening” by W. H. Auden
P.S. Happy Monday!
*This isn’t a true alliteration as the “M” is silent in “Mnemonic,” but I like the look of it nonetheless.