[Milton-L] memories

laurie johnson laurie.johnson1 at comcast.net
Thu Feb 26 10:55:19 EST 2004

While I've never assigned student's to memorize lines of verse, I had to
myself for a graduate Chaucer course. We were all expected to memorize the
first 20 or so lines of the prologue, go to the professor's office, and
recite it to her in private (no humiliation fact). What I will say about
memorization in this case is that for me, the only way to remember was to
really understand what the poem was saying, which forced me to study
Chaucerian English more closely, which made my reading experience of The
Canterbury Tales both more enjoyable and more informative. In short, I
learned a thing or two.
Laurie Johnson
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at koko.richmond.edu>
Sent: Thursday, February 26, 2004 10:46 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] memories

> I don't know whether this anecdote is relevant to the debate or not.
> When I was in high school I was asked to memorize and recite for some
> local musical group a very long poem. I think it was by Lowell (NOT
> Robert but one of his ancestors) and I think it had something to do with
> music. That's all that I remember about it. I don't have the foggiest
> idea of what it's title was even, or what musical instruments, if any,
> it mentioned. As I recall, my speech teacher and the women in the club
> all thought I gave an acceptable presentation, and I do know that I
> needed no props to remember it. Not only memorizing a poem but repeated
> practice of delivering it did not cause me to remember _anything_ about
> it. And I wasn't "resisting" as many students assigned a memorization
> probably would. I _wanted_ to understand (for aid in delivering) the
> text I was memorizing.
> Carrol
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