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.
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:
- Take a picture of the poem in my book with my cell phone
- At work when no one is watching, copy it down on paper by hand.
- During my walks to and from work, read the poem out loud, memorizing two lines at a time.
- Keep doing that until I’ve memorized it. Then say it a ton of times.
- 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.