I had a high school English teacher who was very big on memorization. When we studied American poets, she made us memorize poems by Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Walt Whitman, James Whitcomb Riley, and Edgar Allen Poe. I didn’t enjoy the assignments much back then. Now as words from the poems flow through my memory, I do.
Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening is a favorite. When we lived where it actually snowed in the woods behind our house, I found myself reciting Frost’s poem often as I watched the snowflakes fall.
About the quote
In the throes of that English homework to memorize all those poems and passages from Shakespeare, life passed slowly. I didn’t think the semester would ever be over. Like Frost, I can say in retrospection — life did go on.
And, I’d add that all those memorized words were not wasted.