I know 16 poems by heart and so can you

The recent realization that I was not in a position to learn a foreign language like Spanish (even though I had the goddam Duolingo app) really bummed me out. Despite the fact that Trump is promising to Make America White Again, I thought learning Spanish was practical and would be a great mental exercise.

I learned all this shit I swear

Turns out it’s hard as hell to do that in your spare time. So, instead, I decided to memorize a shitload of poems. 100 to be exact.

I bought the book Committed to Memory and have been working my way through it. It only costs one penny.

Why are you doing this, Uncle Johnny?

Well, friend, I want to grow my mind grapes out of their comfort zone. I want to have a better memory. I want to know more words. I want an interesting lexicon. I want to impress people at social gatherings by quoting 18th century poetry.

I want to be better. Smarter. More bionic. Taller. Poemer.

It’s so hard to come home from a day at work and crack open the laptop again and learn a new programming language. It’s a grind. I get fatigued from web development sometimes. I needed a different way to push the bounds of my thinking mind out a little bit.

So, this is the exact method on what I do to learn poems by heart:

  1. Take a picture of the poem in my book with my cell phone
  2. At work when no one is watching, copy it down on paper by hand.
  3. During my walks to and from work, read the poem out loud, memorizing two lines at a time.
  4. Keep doing that until I’ve memorized it. Then say it a ton of times.
  5. When I have free moments pop up, recite one. Or two. Or ten. Car rides alone are the perfect place to recite them.

It’s actually real easy.

Give it a try. Start with a sonnet, like I did. Not Shakespeare, though. They are only 14 lines, they typically rhyme in some reliable way, and you’ll really impress your friends at the bar.