[Milton-L] Memorized poetry

Ryan Paul ryanspaul at gmail.com
Sat Jun 16 15:38:15 EDT 2012


Here's a very helpful site to help those interested in memorizing more
poetry for themselves (or getting their students to memorize poems):

http://www.memorizenow.com/

Best,
Ryan Singh Paul




On Sat, Jun 16, 2012 at 3:24 PM, E.A.M. Sheehan <e.sheehan at qub.ac.uk> wrote:

> **
> As an undergraduate I memorised medieval Latin lyrics to the rhythms of
> the weekend train from Belfast to Derry!!
> Estelle
>
>  ------------------------------
>
>  On 16 Jun 2012 at 5:26, Tony Demarest wrote:
>
>  I had to memorize ll 1-20 of Book I of Homer's Odyssey in Greek and ll
> 1-20 of Book IX- then sing them to Sousa's Stars and Stripes to get the
> dactylic hexameter right.
> Good thing it was an all boys school.
>
>  ------------------------------
> Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2012 19:26:59 -0700
> From: bblair48 at yahoo.com
> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Memorized poetry
>
>    I had to memorize parts of _Julius Caesar_ in high school (c. 1965). I
> recall them tolerably well. But I remember best (and still recite) three
> pieces from non-academic sources:
>
>  1. My friend Brian Price and I spent a week on the Current River in
> Missouri. One night, around a fire on a gravel bar, he taught me Keats's
> "Much have I traveled in the realms of gold...". And many goodly states and
> kingdoms seen.
>
>  2. "The Spell of the Yukon". Price may have been involved in that, too;
> I don't remember. I still mumble parts of it as I go to sleep: "And the
> summers, no fairer were ever./The sun-shiny woods all athrill;/The grayling
> aleap in the river,/And the bighorn asleep on the hiill...."
>
>  3, Houseman's "Terrance, this is stupid stuff...". I learned this just
> because I wanted to. "And therefore, since the world has still/Much good,
> but much less good than ill,/I'd face it as a wise man would,/And train for
> ill and not for good."
>
>  It's good to lead a horse to water. Making undergraduates memorize may
> unlock a desire to drink that will satisfy a thirst many years later.
>
> --- On *Fri, 6/15/12, Mario A. DiCesare **<dicesare1 at mindspring.com>*
> wrote:
>
> From: Mario A. DiCesare <dicesare1 at mindspring.com>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Memorized poetry
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Date: Friday, June 15, 2012, 4:46 PM
>
>  There are, or at least were, ways of making this work fairly well. Back
> in 1943, as I began my junior year in a poor-boys prep school (our families
> paid between five and thirty dollars a month for tuition, room, and board
> -- but of course we worked hard on the school farm...), a new priest just
> out of semiary and full of beans decided to do something different with *
> Macbeth*.
>
> l had little regard for Shakespeare in those days -- the first two years
> had been pretty much a disaster. But this new young priest, Father Joe
> Donahue, wanted to do things differently. We were to read Macbeth in our
> class, and he was determined that this experience would not be the same as
> our experience with *Julius Caesar* in the previous year, as he'd heard
> of it from some of my more enterprising classmates. We started it in the
> regular morning class, but then he surprised us by suggesting that if
> anyone wanted to do some extra reading of the play, we might come to his
> rooms. Four of us did. A large box of succulent chocolates sat, open for
> all to see and lust after, on his coffee table, but we could not touch
> until we'd done our work. We did our work. The presence of the chocolates
> made the work pleasant, and *Macbeth* finally turned me on to
> Shakespeare. When he asked us to memorize speeches, no one objected, and we
> worked hard at it.
>
> Joe died last year. The news revived all sorts of warm memories.
>
> Mario
>
> On 6/15/2012 7:30 PM, Carrol Cox wrote:
>  What one memorizes in high school doesn't necessarily remain with one.
> My speech teacher in h.s. arranged for a couple of us to 'entertain' some
> local music club. I had to memorize some rather long poem by Lowell (the
> old fart, not Robert). I don't even remember the title of the poem or what
> it was about, yet I had it well memorized in 1946.
>  I did memorize quite a few fragments on my own, & they were useful in
> getting me through my first night in the polio ward. But I don't remember
> now what they were.
>  Carrol
>  ------------------------------
> *From:*  *milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu*<http:///mc/compose?to=milton-l-bounces%40lists.richmond.edu>[
> *mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu*<http:///mc/compose?to=milton-l-bounces%40lists.richmond.edu>]
> *On Behalf Of* Michael Gillum
> *Sent:* Friday, June 15, 2012 11:03 AM
> *To:* John Milton Discussion List
> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Memorized poetry
>  For decades I have been assigning memorization in course that include
> lyrics.
>  1. I think it is important to allow students wide latitude in what to
> memorize, since the poems will be stuck in their heads forever. I ask for a
> poem or selection (from the syllabus) of 14-20 lines. Sometimes I specify
> iambic pentameter, because it's important that they learn to hear that
> particular music. I wouldn't specify *Paradise Lost*, because it is the
> hardest metrical verse to memorize, owing to the enjambments and long
> complicated sentences with moveable elements.
>  2. Not in writing, but I repeatedly emphasize that to memorize language,
> you must repeat it out loud. (Some people will attempt useless tactics like
> writing it out.)
>  3. I don't grade it, but assign full points for just getting through the
> poem. I allow second tries. I make a further deduction from their
> participation grade if they don't even attempt the assignment.
>  4. It should be far enough into the course that students have had the
> chance to find that they like a poem. Most people can learn a sonnet in an
> hour or so.
>  5. They recite privately in my office. Many kids are anxious enough even
> without a larger audience. However, I call on all students to read verse
> aloud and repeatedly during class. I coach the mumblers to try again, read
> big, don't isolate that enjambment, etc. I think speaking verse adequately
> should be a learning objective in courses that include poetry.
>  As to my experience as a student, I was asked to memorize in high school
> 50 years ago and can still say the verses. I was not asked to memorize in
> college.
>
>  On Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 4:40 PM, Duran, Angelica A < *duran0 at purdue.edu*<http:///mc/compose?to=duran0%40purdue.edu> >
> wrote:
>  Dear scholars,
>
> I am interested in finding out about the experiences you have had with
> either assigning or being assigned to memorize early modern British poetry,
> Milton or other.
>
> I would appreciate it if you could respond off-list to any or all of these
> questions:
> € What specific pomes did you memorize / do you assign?
> * were you given / do you give any written instructions in coordination
> with
> the assignment?
> € were you given / do you give a grading rubric?
> € was / is the assignment early or late in the term, or does it not matter
> for you?
> € how did / does delivery of the recitation work? In class, in your office,
> at a public event?
> € any neat or funny anecdotes?
>
> I memorized poetry in high school and college, then have elected to
> memorize
> for my graduate qualifying exams and have memorized a 14-21 line snippet
> nearly every semester since becoming a faculty member 12 years ago. I
> assign
> memorization and recitation, usually with first recitations in class and
> final recitations at a low-key campus, public events. I'm considering
> extending the assignment to my graduate courses.
>
> Many, thanks.
>
> Adios,
>
> Angelica Duran
> Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature
> Director, Religious Studies Program
> Purdue University
> 500 Oval Drive / Heavilon Hall
> West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
> U.S.A.
> < *duran0 at purdue.edu* <http:///mc/compose?to=duran0%40purdue.edu>>
> < *http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/directory/index.cfm?personid=80*<http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/directory/index.cfm?personid=80>
> >
> < *http://www.cla.purdue.edu/religious-studies/*<http://www.cla.purdue.edu/religious-studies/>>
>
>
>
>
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>
>  Estelle Sheehan
> Professor of English and Neo-Latin Studies
> School of English
> The Queen's University of Belfast
> Belfast BT7 1NN
> Northern  Ireland
> Tel. 02890 973152
>
>
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