Discovering the Relevance of Words
I used to know the whole thing.
When I was a freshman in high school our whole English class had to recite it, individually, from memory. Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.
I still remember most of it, but I couldn’t hope to recite it. I remember lines and phrases but not in any particular order. Much the same way I remember life. All the building blocks are there, but I lack the blueprint.
I wish I knew more poetry by heart. In theory, I like the idea of being able to quote poetry on command, but in practice I can’t imagine doing so without sounding like a total ass. Maybe if I try it with a British accent? I don’t know.
You never really appreciate the things you were forced to do in school until later. At least I never did. It wasn’t until the poem was already becoming a hazy memory that it occurred to me how much I drew on those words for influence. Those blocks.
Have you ever memorized poems? Can you draw on poetry from memory, and do you?