Sure, it takes time, and it tests your recall. You’re busy; you have other things to do. Why take on a project that you might have once done in grade school?
Well, this would come off as a preachy sort of post if I didn’t stress first that this is fun.
(Yes, it’s meaningful. Poems can carry us through tough times with encouragement and perspective. They can connect us to other humans living through their own daily trials. They can shine a light on a world so beautiful that we numb ourselves to it in order to get the laundry done. Putting a poem in your heart and head lets you carry it with you everywhere. You’ll have it handy just when you need it. But more than all of that…) Digging deep into something you enjoy just increases your appreciation of it even more. It becomes part of you. Consider the baseball fan who can recite playoff statistics upon request. He loves the sport and he loves it even more because he’s studied it.
So be a fan. Find a poem that shifts your perspective or makes you laugh. Find one that you might share with others at important occasions. Brush off the one that you studied in school. How much do you already remember?
Need a deadline? You can come to recite a portion of it at Poetry By Heart on Monday evening, April 29, at Java the Hutt in the lobby of Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke and Carilion Clinic’s Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Program are hosting the casual event, which will include entrants of the Carilion Clinic Employee Haiku Contest. The event is wide open to the entire community.
Want more reasons and resources? Try the following, and we’ll see you on the 29th!
- Committed to Memory (100 Best Poems to Memorize): Tips from the Academy of American Poets
- “Memorize that Poem” – by Molly Worthen (New York Times, Aug. 26, 2017)
- “The Lost Art of Memorizing Poetry” by Nina King (Salon, April 27, 2014) ★