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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Thursday, May 6, 2021

More memorization

 I have memorized most of La voz a ti debida, probably about half the Shakespeare sonnets. Most of Frost's sonnets. Almost all of Claudio Rodríguez. All the choruses from Henry V.  Lorca? Yes, that too, though strangely enough he is not the poet I have memorized the most from.  I think I did all his sonnets at one point.  

I've done a lot of Williams. Many of the poems are short. I can still reel off many of them.  

It is hard not to memorize poetry if that is your specialty. Of course, forgetting is also part of this process. I can probably say I've forgotten more than you ever memorized in the first place, unless you happen to share this particular method of study.

I got a complete set of Locus Solus, the legendary magazine of the early New York School, by purchasing the individual issues from various sellers. The collaboration issue, edited by Koch (#2), begins with a cento by Ashbery, "To a Skylark." I suspect it's all lines that he knew "by heart."   


Leslie B. said...

I really, really want to assign poem memorization to students and fear it is too 19th century. Is it? Or does it matter?

Jonathan said...

I think I need to assign that. It is a bit hypocritical for me not to. People associate it with "rote" learning, which was style of education for years. You learned your lessons, which meant memorizing the information. Then actually knowing anything or being able to do anything became suspect. But education is, to a large extent, the training of the memory.

Leslie B. said...

It's a very good exercise for all sorts of reasons. I liked memorizing dialogues in the audio-lingual method, too. It's not true that it's just "rote." I had to memorize a poem in Arabic class.

Andrew Shields said...

I began memorizing a few months ago as part of working on Spanish: the first paragraph of "Cien años de soledad", then "Borges y yo". And now I've started memorizing English poems, too. It's wonderful to recite them on my daily walks.