Saturday, April 3, 2010

And Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Max had to memorize a poem for school this week.

In a time when some people don't read actual physical books anymore this seems kind of quaint and old fashioned. (Max's initial response was, "I can't, it's too looong". But then I reminded him that he has memorized the stats of 283 Pokemon.)

I happen to like the idea. Memorizing a poem is a way to get the words down into your body that reading them just can't do. You feel the language in a different way.

Max memorized Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening". It took him about half an hour. I would have loved to post the video here but Max nixed the idea. So you'll have to use your imagination. Just imagine those contemplative, new englandy words coming out of a nine year old boy's mouth. It's pretty amazing.

Happy National Poetry Month. I think I'm going to go memorize a poem.


  1. My mother memorized a great deal of poetry, so at opportune moments she would break out in a poem. I loved it so.

  2. When I was a teenager, I memorized at least a dozen poems and I still remember most of them and use it to impress & embarass my kids.

    My motivation back then was reading that a Prisoner of War (from VietNam era) had recited all the poetry he had ever known--day in/day out while he was in captivity and it's one of the things that kept him sane. I remember thinking that was a great idea and decided to be prepared...

  3. Though I hated it at the time, I now like that I was forced to memorize literature. I still remember the beginning and ending to "A Tale of Two Cities" and some passages in a couple of Shakespeare plays. (As I type, I'm thinking, "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players..." and so on.) Good for Max!!