Poetry By Heart Challenge

Evening all – it has taken me a while but I’ve finally worked out how to upload a video to Youtube.  I’ve been wanting to do this to keep the pressure up for my Poetry By Heart challenge – inspired by Ben Wilkinson, I’m learning one poem a month.  You can find January’s poem here where I’m reciting The Voice by Thomas Hardy and February’s challenge is here – I decided to learn I Go Back To May 1937 by Sharon Olds.

I found Sharon Olds relatively easy to memorise which suprised me – I thought it would be more difficult – it’s quite long, it doesn’t rhyme.  But I think it was easy because it has such a strong narrative holding it together, and the first time I read it, I felt like I’d just been punched in the gut.  I think my unconscious already knew this poem by heart.

Last weekend at Stanza I recited The Voice to a poet friend, while we were walking through St Andrews in the dark with the wind working itself up to gale force and I recited the Sharon Olds poem to another friend in the morning on the way to the book store and they are both firmly in place.

This month I’ve decided to try and learn three Yeats poems because they are quite short – and I’m getting my confidence up now.  It feels amazing to have a little store of poems I can repeat to myself if I get bored – thanks to Ben Wilkinson for throwing down the gauntlet and encouraging me to to have a go.

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