Gransnet forums


Can you recite a whole poem?

(49 Posts)
distaffgran Tue 03-Jul-12 09:09:42

I was thinking about the plans to teach children to recite poetry in schools and I was wondering how many gransnetters have a favourite poem and how much of it they can recite without checking?

I used to recite poetry to myself when I was trying to get back to sleep in between feeds when my DCs were babies. Eccentric, but there you go smile

Ariadne Tue 03-Jul-12 09:28:13

I still, occasionally put myself to sleep by reciting hymns in my head - in alphabetical order, no less!

I can recite great chunks of poetry and Shakespeare, but then, I was an English teacher for over thirty years.

absentgrana Tue 03-Jul-12 10:13:53

Loads of poems both learned in childhood and adulthood in both French and English, plus a few in Spanish too.

twinsmum100 Tue 03-Jul-12 10:16:11

I can do Macavity from T.S Elliot's book of Cats grin

absentgrana Tue 03-Jul-12 10:24:00

But twinsmum100 Macavity's not there… grin (I can do Skibleshanks as well.)

absentgrana Tue 03-Jul-12 10:24:34

I just can't spell it properly when I type. confused

Greatnan Tue 03-Jul-12 11:39:17

Yes - I have always loved poetry and found it easy to memorise, along with great chunks of Shakespeare. I remember every poem we learned at school, then on my English Literature degree and many more that I just enjoyed.

Jacey Tue 03-Jul-12 11:41:57

I used to be able to ...but have just done some research for a family member on dementia and discovered there are days when I fullfil all 10 criteria shock

That is definitely a 'be careful what you read on the internet' moment hmm
Think I'll go and have one of those glasses of wine GNHQ were offering wine

GoldenGran Tue 03-Jul-12 12:42:06

I used to be able to recite chunks of Shakespeare and a lot of poems, but now I can't - there's a lot of "dumdy dumdy dum" that goes on in the middle.blush I think I might start learning it again to make sure my feeble brain doesn't disintegrate any more quickly than it already has.

Annobel Tue 03-Jul-12 12:49:52

Having taught literature, and been educated at a time when you were expected to learn poetry by heart, I have quite a lot of quotations on the tip of my tongue. I can recite a lot of Tam o' Shanter and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner!

feetlebaum Tue 03-Jul-12 13:12:41

I'm afraid my grammar school education put me off poetry for a long time... being required to learn great indigestible chunks of Sohrab and Rustum as punishment... not a word of which is even familiar now, I'm happy to relate.

It's really only now that I am 'elderly' that I have rediscovered the joy of it, with Larkin, Wendy Cope, Betjeman, Auden and others...

Annobel Tue 03-Jul-12 13:16:54

My teacher put me off Dickens in just the same way, making me write out passages for leaving my books at home. Always have been absent-minded. When I started teaching I used Leviticus for this purpose. Probably put them off the Bible for life.

jeni Tue 03-Jul-12 13:33:50

jacey what glasses of wine?

Anagram Tue 03-Jul-12 14:36:26

jeni! grin
Sorry, you're too late!

jeni Tue 03-Jul-12 14:37:23


numberplease Tue 03-Jul-12 15:23:43

My best one is Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, I can do it quite quickly, and 4 year old grandsson is starting to learn it now.

Greatnan Tue 03-Jul-12 16:01:26

numberplease - we used to add 'but pickled pepper is pickled after it has been picked'. Smart ars*es.
I used to recite poetry to my gc long before they were old enough to understand the words - they seemed to like the cadences. Not modern poetry though. 'Stopping by woods on a snowy evening' always went down well.

jeni Tue 03-Jul-12 16:32:21

Yes I can also long passages of the bible (ot) king James VI version. Also long passages from Shakespeare.

Greatnan Tue 03-Jul-12 16:44:28

I can remember The 12 fruits of the Holy Ghost, The Seven Deadly Sins, The Seven Cardinal Virtues, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost and the Ten Commandments, plus most of the catechism and much of the mass (in Latin).

jeni Tue 03-Jul-12 17:10:00

I can remember the catechism
Who made you
God made me
Why did God make you etc:

kittylester Tue 03-Jul-12 17:32:36

I can do 'Let me not to the marriage of true minds' which I learnt because I love it not because I had to. I also do lots of dum de dumming in the ones I was supposed to learn and then think I'll sing the Arthers instead!

Maniac Tue 03-Jul-12 17:51:18

Most of Ode to Autumn and Ode to a Nightingale.Bits of Shakespeare.

This poem by Joyce Grenfell was read at my friend's funeral last week.
Pat was an active member of a book club and had requested that one of them should read it.I couldn't have done it.

'If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe stone,
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual friends that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell,
But life goes on,
So sing as well.

Ariadne Tue 03-Jul-12 17:54:13

Oh, Maniac! When I was in the black throes of chemo etc, I planned my funeral, and that poem is on it. Says it all for me. x

j04 Tue 03-Jul-12 21:56:16

Listen to the song of Wandering Jack,
He carries a bundle on his back.
What is inside it, no one can tell,
He carries inside it dreams to sell.
Some cost a penny,
Some cost a pound.
Some cost nothing, I'll be bound.

I've been able to recite that poem since I was seven. smile

j04 Tue 03-Jul-12 21:59:55


Come on! Tell me that's good. grin