Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesPoetry · 2 months ago

How to memorize and recite a poem?

I have to recite it next Monday, without looking at the paper. The poem is "Myself" by Edgar Guest. 4 stanzas. "I have to live with myself" That's all I remember -- the first line. Yikes.

8 Answers

  • Willie
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    One line at a time.

  • I hate this sort of thing.  It was the first sin that resulted in me being placed into special ed!  Nobody at home cares about me and won't direct me.  If you want to, memorize the first line, then the first stanza. Do that a bunch.  Repeat the process line by line and stanza by stanza. Once you complete one stanza, go back to the others before.  How many songs do you have memorized?

  • 1 month ago

    my memorize and recite a poem is akusher gan.

  • 2 months ago

    How may songs on the radio do you sing along with?  You've learned all the words just by hearing a song over and over.

    The way I used to memorize stuff was to read it onto a cassette and then listen to it in the car or just walking around.  Pretty soon I was saying it along with the cassette.  Of course nobody uses cassettes anymore. Today you'd record it as a WAV or MP3 and listen to it on your phone.

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  • 2 months ago

    I have an extremely poor short-term memory, and I once had to memorize a poem for a high school English class, and I failed.  Just keep reading it out loud over and over again - and I hope you will get luckier than I.

    PS:  Ask your teacher how this will improve your chances for getting a job, become a better human, improve the world, or have ANY conceivable benefit for yourself or anyone else.  

  • Dv8s
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I've always found that reciting in the mirror is a good way to put emotion into the piece.  Since you'll be facing an audience you want to feel what the writer conveys and match that feeling with your voice. This makes it easy to remember your lines, when you remember the feeling that accompanies the words.

  • 2 months ago

    First, write out the poem by hand in "readable" form, eliminating the line breaks as necessary.  For example, in your poem the first lines are:

    I have to live with myself and so

    I want to be fit for myself to know.

    Rewrite those on your sheet as "I have to live with myself and so I want to be fit for myself to know." 

    Because this looks more natural to the eye you may find it is better absorbed by the brain as you read it out loud.  Reorganize the poem into groups of one or two "readable" lines as above, double spacing in between.

    Once that's done, an old trick for forcing memorization is the "progression" method (or what I call the "12 Days of Christmas" trick).  Just as the famous Christmas song is based on repetition, recite your poem out loud one line at a time until you can do so without looking at your paper.  Once done, add the next line and repeat until you can repeat both without looking at the paper....and so on.

    In learning Hamlet's "To Be or Not to Be" for example, you'd start out with "To be or not to be, that is the question."  Once you can recite that from memory, you'd add a bit more and keep repeating "To be or not to be, that is the questions.  Whether tis nobler in the mind..."  Continue adding as many or few words as you can handle and re-read from the beginning every time.

    It also helps if you stand in front of a mirror with your paper while you do this.  Look yourself in the eye as you recite.  This will help "practice" the discomfort of public speaking as you memorize.

  • 2 months ago

    Hand write the whole poem once a day. Record yourself reciting it (with it in front of you) then listen to it a few times through. Then recite along with yourself. Repeat. Repeat.

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