Poetry Memorization

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Poetry memorization is a fun activity for kids and adults alike. What I do with poems that we’re going to learn is this: I put the poem into my word processing program (you can cut-and-paste it directly from this blog post, if you wish) and then I increase the font so that the poem takes up one entire typewritten page.

Then I print it out, slide the printed sheet of paper into a plastic page protector and hang it in a highly visible place in the house where the kids will see it regularly (i.e.: on the refrigerator, the classroom wall, or even in the bathroom!).

Several times each day, we’ll stop by the displayed poem and read it aloud together. After we’re done with memorizing a poem, I’ll place the poem and its plastic page protector into a three-ring binder to use with subsequent children.

It’s amazing how quickly you and your children will have an entire poem memorized with very little effort. And with a seasonal poem like this one, you could even recite it at a family gathering such as an upcoming Easter dinner. Impress Grandma — and make poetry memorization a fun-filled family event!

Here’s an excellent example of a poem to memorize:

“DAFFODILS”
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd, —
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch in never-ending line
Along the margins of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I, at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee;
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company;
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought.

For oft, when on my couch I lie,
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Deborah Taylor-Hough is the author of several popular books including the Frozen Assets cookbook series, Frugal Living for Dummies, and A Simple Choice: a practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity and editor of The Simple Times e-newsletter.

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