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Friday, December 16, 2011

Memorization and Control

You know how, when you've bought a new car, suddenly you see cars of the same make, model, and color as yours everywhere? Well, that's how I feel about memorizing poetry. I started just last month on a memorization project, and since then I just keep seeing and hearing about poets who memorize poems everywhere.

The lastest is a 12-minute interview by Christian Wiman with poet Dan Beachy-Quick, at the podcast Poetry Off the Shelf. Beachy-Quick (wow, that's a pain to type, let's call him DB-Q for the duration of this post) has been memorizing poetry for years, and when asked what it affords him, he answered that "putting the poem in one's self...creates a new channel of intelligence in me that isn't mine at all...you memorize a poem that is its own form of recognition, and let it have control of you, so to speak, rather than memorizing to have a kind of control of it."

Later he says, "I began to think of memorization in a way as a kind of an inscription of words onto the self..."

To learn why DB-Q advises people who don't write poetry to memorize poems, and to hear him recite some poems important to him, click on the link above. For some reason, the podcast is not yet available on this screen, so click on the "Subscribe" button to the left, but don't panic, you don't have to actually subscribe (unless you want to). When the new screen comes up, simply click on "Inscribe the poem on yourself" and you'll get to hear this interview on your audio player. Also available in iTunes.

3 comments:

Carol said...

Hi Jessica.
I've awarded your blog a Liebster Award. (Don't feel like you have to link back or anything if you don't want to....)
Thanks for such interesting posts!
Carol

Jessica Goodfellow said...

Hi Carol,

I have awarded YOUR blog a Liebster, to thank you for your wonderful content and also for your support.

However, I cannot post it as a comment on your blog. I have been unsuccessful at ever posting a comment on your blog, though I have tried many times. I don't know why. I have tried my Google ID, Open ID, etc. Nothing works. I am told I don't have access....don't know why.

I hope you find out here though!

Happy Holidays!

Jessica Goodfellow

Carol said...

Hi Jessica,

Thank you so much! And how odd about the comments...I just checked my blog design and can't figure that out. Well, I'll just keep trying.
Thanks so much for your blog!