On memorizing poetry

I’m a big fan of the Poetry in Voice program that holds a recitation contest for Canadian highschoolers every year. Amazing program and I’ve been lucky enough to see video of some great kids reciting one of my poems. This article at Book Riot lightly covers the history and vitality of the endeavour. Mostly I linked to this separately to get a plug in for PiV.

Memorizing poetry is my way of life. Poetry uplifts our darkest days, and it’s natural to retain our faves to memory. In my younger days, my mother and I spent hours memorizing passages for exams. We would not rest until I could say the entire piece by heart. If I missed a line, we would start over! While these study sessions were exhausting, it helped me remember my class material!

Fast forward to 2005, when I met my poetry therapy community. Month after month, I would visit and share valuable poetry. Memorization reentered my world, but now through an artistic lens. As a result, I made many valuable friendships with people I still (virtually) gather with! Learning by rote shifted to a more approachable way of comprehension.

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