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comment by lil
lil  ·  443 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Elemental haiku

It's wonderful to have a slate of poems up and ready to go as needed.

Strangely, all the poems I know by heart seem to have come from exposure rather than deliberately memorizing.

I met a concert pianist who told me that anything he memorized before the age 20, he will never forget. That might also be true of poetry.

What's on your list?




veen  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My German teacher was a man of classical music, a man of poetry, and a man who always smelled like milk. At the start of the second year of learning German, he said that every man or woman worth their salt knows at least one poem by heart. So he gave us a poem. Every class he'd pick out one random person to recite it, followed by a class recitation.

That class was nine years ago, yet I can still recite Das Fraulein Stand am Meere flawlessly.

lil  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Here's Google Translate's translation. What do you think of it?

The Mistress Stood by the Sea

The mistress stood by the sea

And sighed long and afraid,

It touched her so

The sunset.

My girl! be merry,

That is an old piece;

Down here she goes below

And returns from behind.

veen  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Not bad! Fraulein literally means 'miss', a dimunitive of frau which means 'lady'. Mistress might be too pejorative. I'd translate it like this:

The young lady stood by the sea

And sighed long and weary,

It touched her so much,

the sunset.

'My lady! Worry not,

it's just an old thing

Before you she goes under

And will return from behind.

lil  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Your translation makes more sense.

What a strange choice for your teacher - maybe he liked it because it was short.

veen  ·  441 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's supposed to be humorous / ironic, but it's German so it's not.

mk  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night - Dylan Thomas

She Walks in Beauty -Byron

Hamlet's To Be or Not to Be soliloquy -Shakespeare

And another short one by Byron, though I don't know the name.

If I can add one per month, that would be a good thing for the year.

lil  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Perhaps ask hubski for suggestions for your monthly poems.

I would recommend Fire and Ice by Robert Frost. It's short and easy and has many applications to modern life.

mk  ·  441 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Great choice. Commited.

mk  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Good idea. Fire and Ice is next up. :)

lil  ·  441 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This poem is handy to know. Recently a friend of mine dropped his iPhone into water. People said to put it in a bag with rice, a common response.

(Note - just checked the rice-cell phone solution here.)

The rice soution gave me a chance to quote Fire and [R]ice.)

  Some say the cell phone will end in fire, some in rice.

From what I've tasted of desire, I hold with those who

favour fire

But if it had to perish twice

I think I know enough of hate

to say that for destruction rice

is also great

and will suffice.

My friend said, "Wow, did you make that up just now?"

Clearly he wasn't a Frost fan.

lil  ·  442 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Excellent choices and admirable goal.

Have I made this a thread before? I think I might have. But what a good time to start again.

mk  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Added Alone by Poe.

lil  ·  427 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Poe is excellent. I'd been thinking about your memory project and considered making more recommendations.

"Once upon a midnight dreary

While I pondered, weak and weary

Over many a quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore . . ."