The friendly cow all red and whiteWe are not asked to memorize, or recite, very much any more. It's an art, and it's good practice for--something--our brains, or our hearts?
I love with all my heart.
My son had to memorize, and recite, a poem this past month. He enjoyed it. He came home commenting on how much he liked the poem another child had memorized. "And it was really long," he said--indirectly praising his classmate's performance.
The poem? The Stolen Child by W.B. Yeats.
Come away, O human child!Do you think the kids all understood it? Does it matter?
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
In tenth grade, my teacher required us to choose one of two sonnets to memorize. I thought they were both really hard to learn, and I didn't understand either one, so I chose the one that seemed slightly easier. The road not taken--the poem I didn't learn--was Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley. [I didn't learn it, but I still remember which poem it was.]
The one I did learn, but I didn't understand, was William Wordsworth's The World Is Too Much With Us. I didn't understand it then, but now? Now, it speaks to me.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,Do you have a favorite poem? One that speaks to you?
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!