So in honor of National Poetry Month, I thought I'd ask if any of you, like me, have little snatches of verse memorized, or perhaps longer poems that you had to memorize for school?
Poems I know:
My grandmother gave me a quarter to memorize "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" as a kid and so long after other bits that were lodged in my brain at various points have faded, that poem stays.
This hardly counts as an accomplishment, but I can recite Frost shorties "Nothing Gold Can Stay" and "Fire and Ice" and Wordsworth shortie "My Heart Leaps Up!"
Finally, I can also whip out all of Sonnet #18 thanks to a sung version of it that appeared on the Diana Princess of Wales memorial CD (yep. long story.)
Poems I sorta know:
Mostly though, I tend to get stuck around 2/3 of my favorite poems.
I know the first and last stanza of "Kubla Khan" just because of repeated readings, but would love to buckle down and commit the second stanza to memory. I can recite the first stanza of "The Second Coming."
I can recite 3/4 of Orsino's "if music be the food of love" and 4/5 of Sonnet 116, but I always get stuck around the sickle and compass and stuff ;)
Poems I used to know:
The first 18 lines of the Canterbury Tales' General Prologue, and the first Astrophil and Stella sonnet ("Loving in Truth") and Lady Macbeth's "unsex me here" monologue were all memorized in college for classes during a time when I was, err, engaging in behavior on a regular basis which wasn't great for my memory. Ha.
Poems I wish I knew:
Ode to a Nightingale
The Second Coming and a ton more Yeats.
So what about you? Any poems with which you can impress folks at a literary cocktail party ?