Monday Feature: Michaela Kahn on Memorizing Poetry

Poetry Memorization …

The first poem I remember having to memorize for school was for my 6th grade English class. We all got to pick our own and had to recite it in front of the class at the end of the week. I had a gorgeous anthology of poetry at home which I sadly can’t remember the name of now. It had a green cover with yellow flowers and lavish illustrations throughout – with poetry in English from the 18th century to the mid-20th. So for my memorization exercise I picked a Shakespeare “poem” which actually turned out to be one of the songs from “As You Like It” (as I discovered much later). To this day the words float into my head now and again – friendly, sort of comforting. A snippet of beauty from a period which tends to be hard for everybody (ah, Middle School). I still have the whole thing memorized … probably because in a way I’d cheated with a song that includes a refrain! I am curious what poems others had to memorize in school that gently haunt them (in a good way) to this day?

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird’s throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to lie i’ the sun,
Eating the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s