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Friday, April 27, 2018


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Rae Kaiser

Love this post. I cannot memorize to save my soul. This made me flash on being small and sitting on the kitchen chair swinging my feet as my Mom ironed. Endless repetition of my Baltimore Catechism. I can hear her asking, "Who is God". And I answer, "God is love". And that is the only one I remember. But I can remember some simple things if I write and see something in my mind. But certainly not a whole poem. Good for you.


Fabulous post! Memorization seems to be a thing of the past but I love how many situations bring a memorized poem to my old-fashioned mind. Ulysses is a fave. Also fond of The Cornelian by Lord Byron and just about anything by Sara Teasdale (August Moonrise paints glorious pictures) and Christina Rossetti. (Rest, In the Bleak Midwinter)

There once was a gard'ner who roamed,
Reciting some memorized poem,
They thought her insane,
But she would not abstain,
As she murmured in sunshine and rain.

Since the last line should rhyme with the first perhaps it should be: As she weeded and dug in the loam.

(Okay, it's early here and I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet.)


Caffeinated version:

There once was a gard'ner who'd roam
Reciting a memorized poem,
Though they thought her insane,
She would not refrain,
And waxed lyrical all the way home.


Clearly you were meant to meet Sandy Stark! I can only imagine how pleased she must have been to encounter someone engaging with poetry on their own.

'You're the Top' is the only one of your list I'd be able to recite; no question, a tune helps enormously in memorizing. But 'YtT' presents another challenge: the existence of many versions. Its topical lyrics dated as the show was restaged over the years, and new verses added to keep up. So for extra credit, you could ferret out some of those. My favorite line of the 1934 original is "You're Mickey Mouse; you're cellophane!"


And on looking it up I find of course that I've got it wrong. It's "You're the National Gallery, you're Garbo's salary, you're cellophane."


And on singing YtT through, I also realize that the Cole Porter song I'm thinking of that actually did get multiple revisions to the lyrics is Anything Goes. {Emily Litella voice}-> "Never mind."

Linda Brazill

Aren't the rhymes in the original YtT so clever! And they tell you what was "of the moment" when it was written. I know the play it was from has had many revivals but I will now have to go look at the later lyrics. Don't know why it had not occurred to me that those would be be updated.


I've loved poetry for a long time too. The task of memorizing it, not so much. I have a lot of favorite poems, but the one that comes most quickly to mind is "The Force That Through The Green Fuse Drives The Flower" by Dylan Thomas. A few words of warning, though -- it's morbid and dense. I sometimes wish I'd named my blog The Green Fuse.

Linda Brazill

OMG, so to speak! I had forgotten all about memorizing the catechism. I will admit that i don't think I could recite one bit of it any more. But if you put me in a Catholic Church and the service and music was in Latin, I would remember it all with no problem.

Linda Brazill

Clever as always, with or without coffee. I may have to memorize this.

Linda Brazill

You have to mention The Green Fuse when you and Peter do your blog talk.

"Last Before America" is pretty depressing about emmigrating from Ireland and what was lost by leaving home. And The Parting Glass is a perfect drinking song at bar time but I've also seen it performed graveside.

Lisa at Greenbow

I can't even remember a grocery list let alone a whole poem. I do love poetry though. I read it often. I haven't read many of the classics. Memorize? What a challenge.
How lucky to run into a poet as you are out and about. I bet she felt lucky too. I will have to look up her books. Thanks for the inspiration.

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