I haven't memorized poetry since college, but thought I'd give it a go.
Join the challenge!! C'mon! All the cool kids are doing it!!
Because I didn't hear about the challenge until last Friday and Sunday is the day you're supposed to check a poem off your list, I'm giving myself until June 12th to have my first poem memorized.
Dan set out some rules. I would say you can flub it if you want, but the guy writes horror--realistic enough horror that I'm not sure I would chance it.
1. It must be a poem you don’t already have fully memorized, but it’s okay if you already have some of it memorized.
2. You must recite the entire poem, out loud, from memory, for at least one other person, on Sunday. That gives you slightly less than a full week for the first one, so pick something easy.
3. There are no length restrictions, but if all your poems are little quatrains or tiny nursery rhymes you’re cheating in spirit. Throw a few multi-stanza poems in there; you can do it.
4. No William Carlos Williams allowed. There will be zero tolerance on this point.
5. Everything is done completely on the honors system. If you say you did it, we believe you.
My first poem is one I've always wanted to memorize, but never have:
She walks in Beauty
George Gordon Byron, Lord Byron. 1788–1824
SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!
I have always loved this poem. On the surface it seems like just another love poem, but look more closely. This isn't a "I got the hots for you because you got it goin' on" poem. Her physical beauty is described, yes, but we see more than that. The subject's internal beauty is praised as well. In fact, a great deal of effort is made to connect the two--that her goodness makes her that much more beautiful. (Now that's what a woman really wants to hear--that she is loved for who she is, not just what she looks like.)
Are you gonna join in the fun? Got a poem in mind? Share! Share!