Memorization time again

Thursday, October 21st, 2010 by Rachel

The Indian Girl’s Song


by Percy Bysshe Shelley


I arise from dreams of thee
In the first sleep of night —
The winds are breathing low
And the stars are burning bright.
I arise from dreams of thee –
And a spirit in my feet
Has borne me — Who knows how?
To thy chamber window, sweet! —


The wandering airs they faint
On the dark silent stream —
The champak odours fail
Like sweet thoughts in a dream;
The nightingale’s complaint —
It dies upon her heart —
As I must die on thine
O beloved as thou art!


O lift me from the grass!
I die, I faint, I fail!
Let thy love in kisses rain
On my lips and eyelids pale.
My cheek is cold and white, alas!
My heart beats loud and fast.
Oh press it close to thine again
Where it will break at last.

I’ve been memorizing this poem to present in a few weeks

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 by Rachel



by Barbara Anderson


My mother keeps an artificial wallet
in her pocketbook to fool the hoodlums of the city.
Thick with newspaper torn into money,
it is the wallet not chained
to the inner security zipper.
FUCK YOU it says on the transparent plastic folder
for credit cards and photos of loved ones.
FUCK YOU on the window for identification.
In case of emergency, she carries it everywhere
invisibly as the belief in god
or knowledge of karate. Any god can tell you this,
she knows, that everything she’s ever saved
is just so much dinero in the sky,
small change to the sun.
But to ride the subways in the heavy metallic hour
before the rush, as the train burrows
from one man-made darkness into another,
between fluorescent stations
yellowed to the color of the moon—
everyone needs something besides
themselves to conceal for ransom.

Can’t wait for our wishbone to dry out so I can make a wish

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009 by Rachel

Turkey skeleton

Reciting my poem last night went well, though it was the strangest poem selection out of the bunch. I think that the process of memorizing these two poems this semester has been a good exercise for me, but I don’t think I’ll ever be the kind of person/poet who wants to just sit around and memorize poems for fun. I’m not sure I absorb the music or rhythm the way other poets do. It’s just so hard to spend so much time working on something to forget it within a week. I don’t think I’ll ever assign memorization to a poetry class that I’ll teach, but we’ll see if I stick to my anti-memorization guns down the road… Maybe all memorizing and reciting a poem should be is a rite of passage?


I also got some positive reactions about my Uncle TJ/bunny ghazal and a revision of a different ghazal (making it free verse), so last night was a good last night of poetry. We might be meeting up next week for drinks, since class is over. Hopefully my schedule will allow that.


Read the rest of this entry »

Memorization Take Two

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 by Rachel

I’ve decided to try to memorize Leda and the Swan. Will have to recite it on either the 23rd or 30th. Will keep you posted.


Leda and the Swan
by William Butler Yeats


A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.


How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?


A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
                                               Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?