Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Reciting poetry and reading aloud

I wonder....

 Do kids still learn poems "off by heart" and have to recite them at school?
Back when I was a youngster (and God were a lad - as they say where I come from) we were encouraged to learn poems and recite to class members. Or at least read them aloud. I suspect that it helped create the love of language that has given me a career for most of my life.

There was a time when I knew this one - or at least the first verse - but I had simply forgotten it until it turned up on Platform 2 of Belper Station as part of the poetry trail (see yesterday's post). As soon as I started reading this it came back to me.

For K it triggered a memory of an old film that some of you might remember too. The Night Mail by W H Auden.

Do you remember any poetry and do you ever recite it?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anne .. perhaps that's why I struggled with school - we were made to memorise things and I couldn't!

The Night Mail .. yes and the Masefield one .. "Sea Fever" .. and lots of Edward Lear etc - though he was from home ..

I probably remember snippets of poems .. and I'd love to be up doing your poetry trail .. looks so interesting ..

Cheers Hilary

Jarmara Falconer said...

The Brook by Lord A Tennyson
Last Verse: And out again I curve and flow to join the brimming river, For men may come and men may go, But I go on for ever.

I love poetry. At the age of 12 I bought a book by E.V Lucas 'The Open Road' which is a collection of poems. I still have the book and love it.

Amanda said...

I love the saying 'when God was a lad' :-)

I just had to learn a fair few poems off by heart for my literature exam - and although they took a fair bit of learning - I felt better for knowing them :-)

MorningAJ said...

Hilary - If you found it difficult it must have been hard on you. I was always pretty good at reciting and I loved the poems - which helped a lot.

Jarmara - sounds a bit like me. One of my 'bestest ever' books is the Dragon Book of Verse. A great anthology.

Amanda - it's when God were a lad. Yorkshire you see. Nobody says 'was'. Glad you feel enriched for knowing the poems.

anthonynorth said...

Ah, the days of poetry in this form are sadly gone in terms of popular culture. Of course, poetry survives, but in lyrics and RAP.

MorningAJ said...

Lyrics maybe - but I always think rap is a misprint! :)

snafu said...

I joined a book reading group a few years ago and once a year they do a poetry session and the first year I spent a whole evening wondering what poem to take believing that I had never known any poems, but as I sat and thought, I started to realise that I actually know quite a lot that I learned from school including From a Railway Carriage.
You may be interested to know that the Night Mail has been released on DVD and has had a lot of extra stuff added.

Sandra Davies said...

I remember being given a copy of Palgrave's 'Golden Treasury' one night in lieu of a baby-sitter when I was about 9 and too ill to go to the school play - several short poems stuck then, notably the one that begins "Goblin, goblin, what are your beads?" but my last memory of learning one by heart was painful - the Piedmontese one that begins "He clasped the crag with crooked hands" With hindsight I wish I'd learnt more.

MorningAJ said...

I think most people of a 'certain age' who went through the English education system will realise they know a bit of poetry Snafu. I think we can't help it!

And Sandra - a poetry book in lieu of a babysitter. THAT's what I call a good deal. :)