Why We Should Memorize

Why We Should Memorize

Do you have any favorite poems memorized? Or do you intend, down the road, to memorize works that really inspire you?

This a great article from The New Yorker on the history of memorization of verse and why we all should continue to do it in the present:

Why We Should Memorize Poetry

After reading the article, I am making a concerted effort to fully commit to memory both Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson and The Kiss by Anne Sexton; because they are my poetic heroines, these are two of my favorite works of theirs, and I had completely memorized both works at one time in the past. I do have Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge memorized (and have since adolescence), because it has an Indiana Jones feel, and the images continue to be very vivid to me to this day.

I also believe (as a lot of other writers do), that reading is as important as writing is to one’s craft. Memorization is the next logical step in the evolution of reading. If you commit poems you truly love to memory, then you can read them directly out of your head and use them as you write!




11 thoughts on “Why We Should Memorize

  1. Since my baby son, Pau, came into my life three months ago, I have discovered that I know a vast amount of song lyrics. The only verse I can pull out easy is This be the Verse by Phillip Larkin, which is a shame as its so depressing. I would like to memorise And Death Shall have No Dominion by Dylan Thomas. I know most of it, but there are rough patches.


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