[Milton-L] memorizing dates

Boyd M Berry bberry at mail1.vcu.edu
Sun Feb 22 11:15:25 EST 2004

A colleague teaching intro to close reading has his students copy the poem
or poems by hand, with pen and ink.  I'm thinking of adopting this
strategy, which seemed odd to me at first.  It's not memorizing, to be
sure, but it might have the effect of getting students to attend to each
and every word.

Douglas Bush had students memorize 10 lines of PL.  I remember my
selection, and am glad my exposition of the lines is not in the public
domain.  But I can still do the opening of "Snowbound" from 8th grade.

Boyd Berry

On Fri, 20 Feb 2004 spender at uwindsor.ca wrote:

> An exercise I am going to repeat in two classes next year, both on early
> modern poetry, prose, and intellectual history, enlists memorisation.  I
> ask students to 'Iive with' a text for a term.  I cull, say, twenty poems
> [the first time around, last year, these were short pieces by Sidney,
> Raleigh, Marlowe, Greville] and distribute them randomly to class [in this
> case, sixty students in a c16 survey course, which lasted one term] and
> specify that students should [1] memorise the poem in order to recite in
> front of class [which made for pleasant breaks in a three-hour, evening
> session]; [2] write a short, three-page paper on its prosody [using
> Gascoigne and Puttenham as guides]; and [3] write another short, three-page
> paper attempting to relate figure to ground, text to context, in some way
> [biography, historical or literary milieu, Renaissance habits of thought,
> etc.].  At first, the class was daunted; by the end of term, students were
> delighted to have some ballast in the midst of a broad survey.   I should
> say, then, that I think it worked.
> Best
> Stephen
> Dr. Stephen Pender, English
> University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4
> t: 519.253.3000 [2307] f: 519.971.3676 e: spender at uwindsor.ca

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