How to Memorize Poetry

“My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought…” Unfortunately for me, those thoughts are half-baked and incoherent right now. I need some mental exercises to get back into this new semester of uncertainty.

I have long abandoned the art of memorization. It is tedious. It mostly doesn’t agree with me. It is an awful way to learn. And I think it might be just the sort of cognitive medicine I need right now.

Accidental Professor Lynda Barry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison always has her students memorize poetry. I’m terrible at memorizing poetry. It turns out I’ve been doing it all wrong. Lynda Barry says we should set the poems to music as an aid to the memorizing process. Hmm, I guess I will have to try that. I have memorized many, many songs over the years.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in our soul,
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

Hey, it’s working. I just typed that from memory and I have only been working at it off and on since earlier today.

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