Memorizing Poetry

One of the few things I remember from 5th grade was reciting a poem from memory. I chose Psalms 100 – this dates me because I am sure this would not be allowed without a fight nowadays.

Memorizing poetry or scripture can be closer than the tips of your fingers. An immediate source of comfort when fear or anxiety strikes.

Poets.org has a few tips for memorization and many good poems to choose from, citing many sonnets because they are rhythmic and short.

And my scandalous book, The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature (one blurb: “The greatest English literature is explicitly Christian and celebrates military courage”), has a section on the whys and wherefores of memorizing poetry. “Instead of being bored out of your mind when you’re waiting in line to renew your driver’s license, you’ve got a collection of museum-quality art in your own head, and you can look at it at your leisure.”


Psalms 100 KJV

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God:
it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.