December 07, 2007

Poems to Learn By Heart

We had some snow swirls earlier this week, and Mr. D and I reveled in the crisp freshness of it all.

"Mommy," he asked in his serious scientist voice, "is snow attracted to light?"

"No," I said, "but the light helps us see it better."

"Oh," he said, immediately understanding. "It's beautiful."

Yes it is.

Meanwhile, down in MD, my niece Super T is in search of a poem worthy of memorization... I'm putting together a list of suggestions here. (My sister reminds me that this child went to a Waldorf school through 2nd grade, and so can handle fairly substantial chunks of verse.) Got any poems to add?


Nancy Bea said...

Hoo boy, former English major here, rubbing her hands in glee! I'll restrain myself and suggest only three more:

Death Be Not Proud by John Donne

Sonnet 116 by William Shakespeare ("Let me not to the marriage of true minds...")

Jabberwocky by C.S. Lewis

There are an awful lot of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost poems that once memorized, enrich one's life experience, but there are too many to narrow down. And then, the metaphysical poets say a lot of wondrous things and how about e.e.cummings that genius of the heart...but I better just stop. Too much fun!

Shelley said...

Thanks, Nancy! I'd forgotten about Jabberwocky! cummings and dickinson are up (with links to complete works), and I'm assuming my sister HAS collected Frost...

I love this kind of homework.

Fiona Robyn said...

Hi Shelley - a few I've learnt myself and much enjoyed doing... can send them over in full if it's easier:
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening - Robert Frost
Morning - Mary Oliver
Everything is Going to be Alright - Derek Mahon
The Blessing - James Wright
Hope you find one you like too from these!

Jenn said...

A A Milne rocks. I memorized some of them when I was a kid, and my mom quoted them all the time. When we whined: "What is the matter with Mary Jane? She's perfectly well, and she hasn't a pain."


And man, Jabberwocky. Good for making references only certain people get.

sister AE said...

Frost is my favorite (Birches, Fire & Ice, to name a couple) and of course I like the Rubaiyat of Omar Kayyam.

How about The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus? ("Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame...")

I love The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service, but its a bit long to memorize.

If you (or she) like any of mine, let me know (and make sure she has my real name for the byline).

juliloquy said...

Shel Silverstein?

I love Rilke, Neruda, and Whitman.