Thursday, June 23, 2016


A few weeks ago I came across this article regarding Salman Rushdie's advice on learning poetry as children.  'Speaking at the Hay Festival, the novelist described memorizing poems as a “lost art” that “enriches your relationship with language”.'  I've been thinking about it ever since.
I don't have a great memory for poetry.  Or lyrics.  I'm very good at remembering music, but not so good with the words (to my wife's regular amusement).  There isn't a single poem beyond nursery rhymes that I know by heart.
 But I've done large chunks of memorizing in the past, on stage.  A couple of weeks ago I reread 'Romeo and Juliet' and I was surprised by just how much of Romeo's lines I still knew.  Oh, I couldn't give them to you right now, but as I read them, they were completely comfortable in my mouth.  There is still something there.  I suspect that I've just done a poor job of hanging on to it.
So I'm going to learn some poems.  I'm going to know them by heart so that they are always with me.  Now I just need to figure out which ones...  I have a few in mind but I may need some help with suggestions.
I'm going to learn:
Li Po's 'Drinking Alone Beneath the Moon' (which I read about here)
 Something from 'Richard II'. Either one of the fine passages from the deposition scene or the 'let us sit and talk of the death of kings' speech.
Maybe something from 'Fox in Socks' which may seem like a strange choice but I've come to think of him as my spirit animal.
And I don't know what else I should consider. I love Tennyson's 'Ulysses' but that may be of an overly ambitious length. I'm not sure what else I should think about. Suggestions?

Update: I think I've fixed all of the weird text issues now.  Yeesh.

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