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Jamaika a jamaikaiaké
01-04-2009, 09:58 PM
I have a fetish for memorization. For example, I've memorized all the national capital cities in the world. I also believe that knowledge is a part of intelligence, and that memorizing can be beneficial.

In the past, I had memorized Poe's The Raven (http://www.heise.de/ix/raven/Literature/Lore/TheRaven.html), Browning's My Last Duchess (http://barney.gonzaga.edu/~jdavis6/poem.html), Shakespeare's Sonnet 73 (http://www.sonnets.org/shakespeare.htm#073), and some miscellaneous Ogden Nash (http://www.westegg.com/nash/).

So here's my challenge to you, The Dope: which poem should I memorize? Two things to consider:

1. I like narrative.
2. I might like to recite the poem at an open mic.


FWIW, I recently read the first 140 pages of The Best Poems of the English Language (edited by Harold Bloom) and I particularly liked Epithalamion by Spenser. Maybe too long?

BarnOwl
01-04-2009, 10:38 PM
The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert Service

My 9th Grade English teacher introduced us to poetry and he read this one aloud to us. Knocked us out. I had it memorized soon after. I still love the rhythm and have written some funny shit in that same rhyme scheme.

There are strange things done
In the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold.
The arctic trails, have their secret tails
That would make your blood run cold.

The northern lights have seen queer sights
But the queerest they ever did see,
Was that night on the marge of Lake Labarge,
I cremated Sam McGee.

And so on.


The Jungle (I think that's the name of it) Don't know the author's name.

Fat black bucks in a wine barrel room
Barrelhouse kings with feet unstable
Sagged and reeled and pounded on the table.
Pounded on the table!

Beat an empty barrel with the handle of a broom
Hard as they were able
Boom! Boom! Boom!

With a silk umbrella and the handle of a broom
Hard as they were able,
Boom! Boom! Boom!

Then along that riverbank a thousand miles,
Tattooed cannibals danced in files.
Danced to the tune of a blood lust song
And a thighbone beating on a tin pan gong.

There's a lot more of this, and you can get both of these and more onlline.


Good luck!

freckafree
01-04-2009, 11:16 PM
Ooh! "The Cremation of Sam McGee" is an excellent recommendation, Barn Owl!

I suggest memorizing the entirely of Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. (http://coral.lili.uni-bielefeld.de/Classes/Summer97/SemGS/WebLex/OldPossum/oldpossumlex/)

Captain Carrot
01-04-2009, 11:20 PM
Oh, come on. Poetry? That's hardly a challenge. Here's a task for you: memorize the first thousand digits of pi. There's a test of your memorization talents. (speaking as one who has done it.)

Hunter Hawk
01-04-2009, 11:23 PM
"Eskimo Nell" has a nice narrative to it...

Washoe
01-04-2009, 11:28 PM
Anything by Lewis Carroll. If you can nail The Hunting of the Snark, kudos. I tried and failed. However, I do know several by heart. Some people might find this ability threatening, though. Somebody once told me that the fact that I can recite Jabberwocky means I'm gay. I told him to give me an hour with his girlfriend and I'd prove that I wasn't (standard retort that I stole from somebody years ago). But my sophomore English professor was quite impressed with my repertoire, and told me that everybody should know Jabberwocky. So there. She also gave me an 'A' in advanced composition.

Jamaika a jamaikaiaké
01-04-2009, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the suggestions everybody. I can't decide yet, but if I do Old Possum, it will just be 1 or 2 of my favorite ones. I don't really want to memorize digits, Captain Carrot, but congrats on 1000.

Washoe
01-04-2009, 11:35 PM
Oh, come on. Poetry? That's hardly a challenge. Here's a task for you: memorize the first thousand digits of pi. There's a test of your memorization talents. (speaking as one who has done it.)

I call bullshit. Well, OK, I call highly dubious. Never mind—I'm cowed and humbled and just won't admit it. I can do 29 places, though—3.14159265358979323846265338327—at least I think that's right. It's been a while. And no, I did not just go and look that up right now, if that's what you're thinking.

SmartAleq
01-04-2009, 11:37 PM
The really fun thing about "Jabberwocky" is that you can sing it to the tune of "Greensleeves" and it works perfectly... I used to have all of "The Walrus and the Carpenter" memorized but I've forgotten bits from the middle.

How about "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html) by T.S. Eliot? That oughta keep you busy...

Sonnenstrahl
01-04-2009, 11:39 PM
Oh, come on. Poetry? That's hardly a challenge. Here's a task for you: memorize the first thousand digits of pi. There's a test of your memorization talents. (speaking as one who has done it.)

Wow. I saw a guy did 100 digits at a talent show once, and that blew most people's minds.

On that note, because why on earth would you memorize a poem if it wasn't to show off, :p I third Sam McGee, as I've had great success with that one. Someone I know won a talent show for reciting the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A bit more literary value, as well.

Washoe
01-04-2009, 11:39 PM
The really fun thing about "Jabberwocky" is that you can sing it to the tune of "Greensleeves" and it works perfectly...

Now THAT makes you gay, dammit! :D

Jamaika a jamaikaiaké
01-04-2009, 11:40 PM
The really fun thing about "Jabberwocky" is that you can sing it to the tune of "Greensleeves" and it works perfectly... I used to have all of "The Walrus and the Carpenter" memorized but I've forgotten bits from the middle.

How about "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html) by T.S. Eliot? That oughta keep you busy...

"Afternoons will be measured out in coffee spoons ... and T.S. Eliot."

Northern Piper
01-04-2009, 11:41 PM
I would second "Cremation." I'd also suggest In Moira, In Khazad-dűm (http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/736.html), by J.R.R. Tolkein.

There're both good oral poems. I've memorized both and find them easy to re-activate after a lengthy time.

Wile E
01-04-2009, 11:42 PM
Daffodils (http://www.bartleby.com/106/253.html) by Wordsworth

It may not seem that exciting but I had to memorize and recite this in grade school and still remember some of it to this day. I think what helped is that Bullwinkle once recited it as well, so I always hear it in my head in Bullwinkle's voice. So if you can do a decent impersonation of Bullwinkle, I'd say "go for it!" at your next open mic.

panache45
01-04-2009, 11:48 PM
The really fun thing about "Jabberwocky" is that you can sing it to the tune of "Greensleeves" and it works perfectly.

Or "Hernando's Hideaway."

Captain Carrot
01-04-2009, 11:51 PM
I call bullshit. Well, OK, I call highly dubious. Never mind—I'm cowed and humbled and just won't admit it. I can do 29 places, though—3.14159265358979323846265338327—at least I think that's right. It's been a while. And no, I did not just go and look that up right now, if that's what you're thinking.

Well, bear in mind that it was basically all I did with my free time for a couple of weeks several years ago, and it took me three tries over a few years to get to 1100, most of which I forgot afterwards. Let's see what I can still recall: 3.
1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095

Hmm. Only 130 places. But I'm sure I could get a lot more than that with a little practice.

SmartAleq
01-04-2009, 11:59 PM
Now THAT makes you gay, dammit! :D

I'm a chick, so I'm probably safe on that front, anyway... :p

Washoe
01-05-2009, 12:07 AM
3.
1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095

Oh, I see—you did it the same way I did it—by breaking it up into blocks. When you play it in your head, does the completion of each block trigger the next block? In other words, could you start at the fiftieth place and go from there? I can't. I can say the whole thing as one long run-on sentence, but I can't just start anywhere.

Captain Carrot
01-05-2009, 02:19 AM
Oh, I see—you did it the same way I did it—by breaking it up into blocks. When you play it in your head, does the completion of each block trigger the next block? In other words, could you start at the fiftieth place and go from there? I can't. I can say the whole thing as one long run-on sentence, but I can't just start anywhere.

To some extent. The last time I worked on it, I memorized one row of ten blocks of ten digits at a time, and after the first hundred or so, I recited Row 2, Row 3, Row 4, and so on. I never particularly tried starting anywhere but the beginning, except when I knew that I had a weak transition or entire block somewhere, and had to say those several times over. I could, however, come up with any individual digit on command, mostly by visualizing the table ("Digit 279? Hmm, that's between 200 and 300, so it's the third row, between 70 and 80 so it's 8 groups along, and the second-to-last digit there is 8).

even sven
01-05-2009, 02:28 AM
I got the urge to memeorize something exactly once, and that Kubla Khan (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/stc/Coleridge/poems/Kubla_Khan.html). I say go for that!

even sven
01-05-2009, 02:38 AM
Also. if you want to branch out from poetry, why not try memorizing Chinese characters? It really does use some new parts of your brain, and is a hell of a challenge. You don't even need to speak any Chinese to start recognizing characters, and the first time you are able to glean even a little meaning from text it's about as gratifying as it can get.

movingfinger
01-05-2009, 02:39 AM
Anothder vote for the Cremation of Dan McGee, and one for the other famous Robert Service poem, The Shooting of Dangerous Dan McGrew. That may not be the exact title, but...

Or just about anything by Kipling.

madrabbitwoman
01-05-2009, 03:55 AM
I learned to recite "The man from Snowy River". It still gives me goosebumps at the exciting bits.http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-man-from-snowy-river/
It has a great rythym and can (and has) been sung.

Aspidistra
01-05-2009, 04:48 AM
If you really want to test yourself...

The Ballad of Reading Gaol (http://www.poetry-online.org/wilde_the_ballad_of_reading_goal.htm)

ivan astikov
01-05-2009, 05:00 AM
To some extent. The last time I worked on it, I memorized one row of ten blocks of ten digits at a time, and after the first hundred or so, I recited Row 2, Row 3, Row 4, and so on. I never particularly tried starting anywhere but the beginning, except when I knew that I had a weak transition or entire block somewhere, and had to say those several times over. I could, however, come up with any individual digit on command, mostly by visualizing the table ("Digit 279? Hmm, that's between 200 and 300, so it's the third row, between 70 and 80 so it's 8 groups along, and the second-to-last digit there is 8).

Whatever for though, when there are so many other things you could be using your memory for? Useful things, for instance. Like poems. :confused:


p.s. It's not even a feat that an audience can appreciate. How many are going to know if you were wrong?

3acresandatruck
01-05-2009, 06:30 AM
my sophomore English professor was quite impressed with my repertoire, and told me that everybody should know Jabberwocky. So there..We had to select and memorize a poem when I was in 7th grade and Jabberwocky was my pick. When I did my recitation, my teacher very correctly observed that I'd made that choice just to annoy her. She had to find a copy and follow the text carefully as I recited it. I got it right. I'm 53 and I can still recite it.

Petrobey Mavromihalis
01-05-2009, 07:27 AM
When I did my recitation, my teacher very correctly observed that I'd made that choice just to annoy her. She had to find a copy and follow the text carefully as I recited it.Did she teach literature? I'm surprised. I only know the first verse of Jabberwocky, but if someone recited it I'm pretty sure I could tell if they went wrong. That's why it's so good - it's not just random words.

As to the OP, what about the Fitzgerald translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam? Great stuff and you can do as much or little as you want.

Peter Morris
01-05-2009, 07:58 AM
Matilda (http://www.poetry-archive.com/b/matilda.html)by Hillaire Belloc


MATILDA told such Dreadful Lies,
It made one Gasp and Stretch one's Eyes;
Her Aunt, who, from her Earliest Youth,
Had kept a Strict Regard for Truth,
Attempted to Believe Matilda:
The effort very nearly killed her ...

Surok
01-05-2009, 08:25 AM
The Highwayman (http://www.potw.org/archive/potw85.html), by Alfred Noyes, is a dramatic narrative which would probably lend itself to an open mic performance.

If you're interested generally in memorizing poetry, take a look at A Poem a Day (http://www.amazon.com/Poem-Day-Vol-Nicholas-Albery/dp/1883642388/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231161599&sr=8-1) which has (mostly) short poems, selected because they are worth memorizing. The second volume (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Poem-Day-Two-Stephanie-Wienrich/dp/070117336X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1231161735&sr=1-2) is available in the UK.

If you really out to impress people with your powers of memory, why don't you learn something monstrously long, such as Paradise Lost? It may sound like a stretch, but I used to have Shakespeare's Richard III by heart, and Milton wouldn't be that much more difficult. Plus it means you have a great store of something to 'read' if you're stuck somewhere for 10 hours without a book.

BarnOwl
01-05-2009, 08:26 AM
It's not The Jungle, it's

THE CONGO

and you can find it at

http://www.bartleby.com/104/81.html

It's a lot funner if you ignore the author's interpretative annotations
and use your very own.

BarnOwl
01-05-2009, 08:40 AM
The Cremation of Sam McGee is at

http://www.wordinfo.info/words/index/info/view_unit/2640/?letter=C&spage=26

And very pleasing to the eye it is! Appealing layout, attractive font, and nice illustrations.

Find The Shooting of Dan McGrew at

http://www.geocities.com/heartland/bluffs/8336/robertservice/shooting.html

I want to ask a question about memorizing Pi - but I don't want to hurt feelings. So please don't take offense, but...

How do you get people to listen to the recitation? Do you give them a book with Pi so they can check your accuracy as you go along? How long does it take to get to recitethe highest level you've memorized.

An Gadaí
01-05-2009, 09:25 AM
Here's an easy one.


Sister

Sister, sister, you're like a blister,
In the skin,
Sister, sister, you little terror,
That's what you are,
Enough, enough, you've gone too far!
Roaring, screaming sister.



(By An Gadaí aged about 9 or 10 :D )

Jettboy
01-05-2009, 10:14 AM
I seem to remember one about a man from Nantucket...

OtakuLoki
01-05-2009, 10:36 AM
While I agree that Robert W. Service makes for fun memorization, I wonder why not go for something a bit more inspirational:

The St. Crispin's Day (http://www.chronique.com/Library/Knights/crispen.htm) speech from Henry IV.

Jamaika a jamaikaiaké
01-05-2009, 12:26 PM
So many great replies! I think I will start with Jabberwocky. I will report back tomorrow after I've done this to pick another. Since I haven't memorized in a while, I need to start small. (only 6 different stanzas, and I half know it anyway.)

Barn Owl: Was this the poem featured in the cave scene of Dead Poet's Society? (I don't think I could perform that around here. It would come off as racist, I think.)

An Gadaí: that was sweet, thanks.

Paradise Lost seems like a crazy idea that I might be tempted to do, but I've never read it. So, would it be worth it? Could I just do one of the books? Which one?

Paul in Qatar
01-05-2009, 12:26 PM
Cremation? Got it.
St Crispen's Day? Got it.
Kubla Khan? Got it.
Ch 13 of Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians?* Got it.
Paul Revere? Got it.
Hamlet Act 1 Sc 1, "What a piece of work.." Got it.
A life? I don't got it.

*It ends with "Love never fails." Great fun at weddings and useful to get that person next to you to find another damn seat on the airplane.

Sitnam
01-05-2009, 12:28 PM
Anything by Lewis Carroll. If you can nail The Hunting of the Snark, kudos. I tried and failed. However, I do know several by heart. Some people might find this ability threatening, though. Somebody once told me that the fact that I can recite Jabberwocky means I'm gay. I told him to give me an hour with his girlfriend and I'd prove that I wasn't (standard retort that I stole from somebody years ago). But my sophomore English professor was quite impressed with my repertoire, and told me that everybody should know Jabberwocky. So there. She also gave me an 'A' in advanced composition.
Jabberwocky was my offering as well. I had to learn Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room by William Wordsworth also , but it doesn't get the same play as a nonsense poem with a Vorpal blade in it. Fire and Ice by Frost was the first one I memorized cause it sounded badass to my 15 year old brain, but that's a bit short. Someday I'll have The Bells by Poe down.

Thudlow Boink
01-05-2009, 01:09 PM
The poems that sprang to mind when I saw the thread title have long since been mentioned: "The Cremation of Sam McGee," "The Raven," "Kubla Khan," "Jabberwocky" (or, as Washoe said, anything by Carroll).

For what it's worth, my final exam for senior year high school German class was to memorize (auf Deutsch) Goethe's poem "Das Zauberlehrling" ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice," since popularized by Paul Dukas and Mickey Mouse). I still have a stanza or two of it stuck in my head, more than 20 years later.

N9IWP
01-05-2009, 01:14 PM
How about the Iliad? that should keep you busy...

Brian

aldiboronti
01-05-2009, 01:15 PM
I too have a fetish for memorization, have had since the days of my youth. I also have and always have had a love of poetry.

My advice? Aim high, you'll be astonished at the amount of poetry that can be memorized. I have in my head, perfectly memorized, most of the Satires and Horation Imitations of Alexander Pope, his Dunciad complete; Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel and his MacFlecknoe; all of Milton's Sonnets, plus his Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity, Il Penseroso, L'Allegro; most of the Odes of Keats; Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality; poems by Jonson, Marvell, Gray, Collins and others, as well as huge swathes from Shakespeare.

There's nothing particularly impressive about this, I'm in my 50s, I started memorizing in my 20s and stopped adding more when I was around 30. Since then I just recite all I've learned from time to time to keep it fresh but I can assure you, this stuff lasts a lifetime!

A few tips. I found that in memorizing a new poem it proved really efficacious to rehearse it last thing at night before going to sleep (having gone through it of course many times during the day). In the morning it would be sharply etched in the memory.

Another thing. The rhyming heroic couplets of Dryden and Pope proved the easiest to memorize, blank decasyllabic verse a little trickier, but not by much.

I always wanted to get Paradise Lost down pat but that's one goal I never achieved.

I guess I have around 9 or 10 thousand lines word perfect, but this is chickenfeed compared to the achievements of the real giants, those who memorize the Bible, Koran, etc.

Good luck with your memorizing!

Infovore
01-05-2009, 01:22 PM
How about "The Ballad of East and West" (http://www.geocities.com/athens/aegean/1457/poem3.htm)?

I was once challenged by a high school English teacher to memorize this (I was a hair's-breadth away from an A instead of an A-minus for the class. She told me if I could memorize this poem, she'd give me the A. I got my A. :) I still, more than twenty years later, remember parts of this poem.)

Infovore
01-05-2009, 01:34 PM
I think I missed the edit window, but here are some more:

This one is from "Willy Wonka and Great Glass Elevator," and I always found it amusing. (http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/61661-Roald-Dahl--Goldie-Pinklesweet----)

This one is by Alan Moore, and I love it. The Children's Hour (http://groups.msn.com/anideafromtheedge/suggestionbox.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=10718&LastModified=4675546131089919776) (it's in Message 5 on the page--works best if you recite it in a proper British accent :) )

This one is a downer, but I love it too. 110 Stories (http://nielsenhayden.com/110.html) by John M. Ford

BarnOwl
01-05-2009, 02:12 PM
Barn Owl: Was this the poem featured in the cave scene of Dead Poet's Society? (I don't think I could perform that around here. It would come off as racist, I think.)


I think you're referring to The Congo.

In our 10th grade English class, the teacher asked us to pick a poem (any poem, whether in the text or not,I believe) to read aloud to the class. The Congo was in our English textbook.

And that was my immediate choice. Ialso thought I'd ask the one black kid in the class to split the reading with me. But before doing anything, I asked the teacher if The Congo would be ok.

She was horrified, and maybe justifiably so. This was in the late 40's, and maybe black kids might still find reason to resent the poem.

So I think even now, when we're less antsy about addressing stuff like the poem evokes, you're probably better off staying away from it.

tr0psn4j
01-05-2009, 02:23 PM
How about this bit from Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonneut. (http://www.amazon.com/Slaughterhouse-Five-Kurt-Vonnegut/dp/product-description/0385333846)

My name is Yon Yonson, I work in Wisconsin, I work in a lumbermill there. The people I meet when I walk down the street, They say, "What's your name?" And I say, My name is Yon Yonson, I work in Wisconsin..."

And so on to infinity.

Ok maybe it isnt the greatest poem (or even a poem).

sweeteviljesus
01-05-2009, 03:12 PM
"There was a young lady named Alice..."

Sorry, someone had to :)

Rob

pravnik
01-05-2009, 03:23 PM
I think I missed the edit window, but here are some more:

This one is from "Willy Wonka and Great Glass Elevator," and I always found it amusing. (http://oldpoetry.com/opoem/61661-Roald-Dahl--Goldie-Pinklesweet----)How odd, that's the first poem that popped in my mind. I memorized it at about age 12 or so, not intentionally but just by endlessly rereading it. Always good for a laugh.

Captain Carrot
01-05-2009, 03:28 PM
Whatever for though, when there are so many other things you could be using your memory for? Useful things, for instance. Like poems. :confused:I do it because I enjoy it, and because, in my opinion, it's the supreme challenge. No phrases, no sentences, no narrative, not even any words. Just random numbers. The only patterns there are the ones you make yourself, which is one of the only approaches, in my opinion, that actually works long-term. I submit that mathematical poetry is no less useful than any other sort.
p.s. It's not even a feat that an audience can appreciate. How many are going to know if you were wrong?People often ask me for the sheet, and besides, what do I care if they appreciate it? I'm not doing it for them.

Fenris
01-05-2009, 03:53 PM
If you're gonna recite it out loud, I love The Congo and also Poe's The Bells

One of my favorites is Renascence (http://www.bartleby.com/131/1.html) by Edna St. Vincent Millay

ALL I could see from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood;
I turned and looked the other way,
And saw three islands in a bay.
So with my eyes I traced the line 5
Of the horizon, thin and fine,
Straight around till I was come
Back to where I’d started from;
And all I saw from where I stood
Was three long mountains and a wood. 10
Over these things I could not see:
These were the things that bounded me;
And I could touch them with my hand,
Almost, I thought, from where I stand.
And all at once things seemed so small 15
My breath came short, and scarce at all

(and on and on....very catchy rhythm)

rowrrbazzle
01-05-2009, 04:08 PM
If you haven't already done any of these more popular verses:

Casey at the Bat (Look up Martin Gardner's "The Annotated CATB" for the various versions and parodies)

A Visit from St. Nicholas (ditto Martin Gardner)

Edward Lear, "The Owl and the Pussycat", "How Pleasant to Know Mr. Lear"

ShakWave
01-05-2009, 07:50 PM
How about 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' by Tennyson or 'If' by Rudyard Kipling?

The Tofu Kitty
01-05-2009, 08:06 PM
I would say "Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold.

Or, if you're feeling like branching out from poetry, you could try the last paragraph of The Waves by Virginia Woolf ("...Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death!" etc.) Pretty sweet imo, and it lends itself to recitation.

elfkin477
01-05-2009, 08:16 PM
If you like a poem with a narritive, you might like the poem I memorized ten years ago for a poetry class: "Mid-term Break" by Seamus Heaney. I still remember a lot of it. Here's a link (http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/mid-term-break/).

vintageloveletter
01-05-2009, 11:53 PM
The only poem I ever memorized was Poe's "A Dream Within A Dream". I also love Shakespeare's Sonnet 29.

appleciders
01-06-2009, 01:00 AM
I'm amazed more E. A. Poe hasn't come up here. The Raven is wonderful around Halloween, and I've always loved Annabelle Lee. Great rhythm and meter, and that makes them easier to memorize.

Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 is a famous one, and one that I pull out occasionally. The first 14 lines of text between Romeo and Juliet (from their first meeting to their first kiss) are a complete sonnet, and I've inadvertently memorized that one through stage managing the show. 'Course, to perform that one, you really need help.

Biblically, Chapter 13 of Paul's first Letter to the Corinthians is a classic. The first chapter of Genesis is likewise quite pretty. There's also the Song of Solomon, which might prove popular in smaller, more intimate audiences.

Rudyard Kipling is a wonderful choice. If or The Power of the Dog might be good choices.

Lord Byron is a good choice too. She Walks in Beauty is a nice one, if overdone, and I know just one stanza from Stanzas Composed on the Road Between Florence and Pisa, but it's among my favorite in poetry. The Destruction of Sennacherib is a fun one; if Shakespeare's iambic pentameter is a heartbeat, Byron's Sennacherib recalls hoofbeats (soft-soft-HARD soft-soft-HARD) and comes across well in performance.

And last, here's one that has gone over well for me, especially as I am the one-and-twenty of the poem.

http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/alfrededwardhousman/poems/ashropshirelad/wheniwasoneandtwenty.html

OtakuLoki
01-06-2009, 01:30 AM
I see you like the more positive of A. E. Housman's works. ;)

I'm far more partial to Is my team ploughing (http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/alfrededwardhousman/poems/ashropshirelad/ismyteamploughing.html).

movingfinger
01-06-2009, 01:47 AM
My late wife was a devotee of crossword puzzles (as am I), so a few years ago for her birthday I wrote her a poem called "Ode to an Etui", an etui being a needle case and a very common word usage in crossword puzzles. Going through her effects I found she had saved it, and I will send it to you for your use.

It can be recited in about 90 seconds and has the advantage of never having been seen by anyone else, so no one listening to it can tell if you are reciting it correctly or skipping whole chunks of it, or making part of it up as you go along. You can even attribute it to Ogden Nash, or yourself, if you like.

Zoe
01-06-2009, 04:01 AM
I hope that you will try Yeats! These three are short, but show different moods:

Easter, 1916 (http://classweb.gmu.edu/rnanian/Yeats-Easter1916.html)

When You Are Old (http://www.bartleby.com/101/863.html)

The Lake Isle of Innisfree (http://www.bartleby.com/103/44.html)

The last one is so peaceful that sometimes I recite it the way that other might say Hail Marys. But there's longing and truthfulness too.

The second one -- When You Are Old -- is one of the most loving poems.

The first poem is an important poem. Maybe his best.


Fenris, if you would like to see what Millay could see when she was inspired to write that poem, it's all still there. She grew up in Camden, Maine. Behind the village is Mt. Battie. It's about 1,000 feet to the top. You can drive up or walk up as she often did. It's one of my favorite spots in the world.

There is also an inn in the town at the foot of Mt. Battie -- White Hall Inn. They have parts of the rough draft of the poem framed around parts of the lobby (different rooms downstairs). It was at this inn that Millay recited her poem one night and a wealthy woman from New York overheard her, recognized her potential and agreed to become her sponsor.

longPath
01-06-2009, 06:52 AM
Great fun to recite at family dinners....

By Heinrich Hoffman

Augustus was a chubby lad;
Fat, ruddy cheeks Augustus had;
And everybody saw with joy
The plump and hearty, healthy boy.
He ate and drank as he was told,
And never let his soup get cold.


and so on.... (http://www.soupsong.com/iaugustu.html)

parthenokinesis
01-06-2009, 07:18 AM
Lots of "children's" lit being suggested, strong meter structure with iambic flow intended to be read aloud to an audience, so might i suggest some of the best of Seuss? "The Cat in the Hat" qualifies as narrative poetry in any sense of the term and is arguably one of the most important literary works of the 20th century. I'm also quite fond of "And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street"

BarnOwl
01-06-2009, 08:22 AM
Here's another one my Junior High English teacher read to us:

Mia Carlotta

http://www.bartleby.com/104/51.html


And can anyone dig up the poem about the dog who wins every peeing contest he gets into because he has diabetes? It's an lol-er.

Jamaika a jamaikaiaké
01-06-2009, 01:39 PM
I'm amazed more E. A. Poe hasn't come up here. The Raven is wonderful around Halloween, and I've always loved Annabelle Lee. Great rhythm and meter, and that makes them easier to memorize.

Am I being whooshed?

UPDATE: I've done Jabberwocky.

Kubla Khan is next.

Saltire
01-06-2009, 02:55 PM
I love Sam McGee and Dan McGrew, but a less-commonly heard Service poem I love is The Ballad of Pious Pete (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/8336/robertservice/piouspete.html). It's about a severe case of cabin fever. I've spoiled the last verse below.

They're taking me out with an escort about, and under a sergeant's care;
I am humbled indeed, for I'm 'cuffed to a Swede that thinks he's a millionaire.
But it's all Gospel true what I'm telling to you -- up there where the Shadow falls --
That I settled Sam Noot when he started to shoot electricity into my walls.

One that I memorized in school and still know is The Thinker (http://www.bertonbraley.com/id530.htm) by Berton Braley. When I searched for it for the link, I discovered it shows up on a lot of Objectivist websites. But I still like it as a celebration of human intellect.

ethelbert
01-06-2009, 03:01 PM
The Man With a Hoe, by Edwin Markham (http://fiat.gslis.utexas.edu/~wyllys/manwhoe.html)

Infovore
01-06-2009, 03:31 PM
One that I memorized in school and still know is The Thinker (http://www.bertonbraley.com/id530.htm) by Berton Braley. When I searched for it for the link, I discovered it shows up on a lot of Objectivist websites. But I still like it as a celebration of human intellect.
Hey, thanks! I hadn't seen that before. Since I'm more than a bit of an Objectivist bent myself, I liked it a lot. For any who've read Atlas Shrugged, it immediately reminded me of Hank Rearden, almost like it was written about him.

BarnOwl
01-06-2009, 05:47 PM
I love Sam McGee and Dan McGrew, but a less-commonly heard Service poem I love is The Ballad of Pious Pete (http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Bluffs/8336/robertservice/piouspete.html). It's about a severe case of cabin fever. I've spoiled the last verse below.

They're taking me out with an escort about, and under a sergeant's care;
I am humbled indeed, for I'm 'cuffed to a Swede that thinks he's a millionaire.
But it's all Gospel true what I'm telling to you -- up there where the Shadow falls --
That I settled Sam Noot when he started to shoot electricity into my walls.

One that I memorized in school and still know is The Thinker (http://www.bertonbraley.com/id530.htm) by Berton Braley. When I searched for it for the link, I discovered it shows up on a lot of Objectivist websites. But I still like it as a celebration of human intellect.

LOL f! Googling The Ballad of Pious Pete. TY Heartland.

Ian D. Bergkamp
01-06-2009, 06:30 PM
The Highwayman, Kubla Khan, and The Charge of the Light Brigade, all previously mentioned, are personal favorites that I've memorized in the past.

Another favorite, not yet mentioned, is Lochinvar (http://quotations.about.com/cs/poemlyrics/a/Lochinvar.htm) by Sir Walter Scott.

Leiko
01-06-2009, 10:41 PM
The Day the Saucers Came (http://www.spiderwords.com/feature1.htm) by Neil Gaiman

In a more general suggestion: have you thought about memorizing any of the Psalms or other poetic Bible bits?

Enuma Elish
01-06-2009, 11:01 PM
Here's one I've always liked:

The Whistling Train

When we were children, you and I,
sometimes in bed we used to lie
and listen to the whistling trains
that rolled their way across the
plains
and over mountains, rivers, too,
and crossed the oceans (for all we knew).

Their hollow hooting seemed to be
alluring, filled with mystery.
It summoned us to go with them
to Babylon or Bethlehem
and be prophet, prodigal
or seer in cities. Pastoral
among our herds, in self-distrust,
we named our longing wanderlust
and, believing all things good and
right
came of living on the land,
we were able to withstand
the calls that pierced the lonely
night.

Now, in another age, we know
why, how far, and where trains go
and read no promises of fame,
of destiny, or sin, or shame
into their calls. Yet, to this year,
this very hour, when I hear
the whistles, sad, insistent, sharp,
my heart trembles like a harp!

Helen Harrington

willthekittensurvive?
01-07-2009, 10:17 AM
What would be good method for someone who doesn’t have a memory fetish to memorize a poem? Let’s say:” The Raven"

I actually have a bad memory and have trouble memorizing my own phone-number,
Pi? I sometimes check the Alphabet in Excel

Oh ..and English isn’t my first language(well truth is it was, but has not been my main language since I was nine)

stanger
01-07-2009, 11:57 AM
I second 'If' by Rudyard Kipling.

Not particularly long or unique, but it takes some practice and feeling to recite it well. I have heard many people recite this poem, but few did it justice. Although the work stands well on its own, it is a masterpiece when performed correctly.

BarnOwl
01-07-2009, 12:05 PM
What would be good method for someone who doesn’t have a memory fetish to memorize a poem? Let’s say:” The Raven"

I actually have a bad memory and have trouble memorizing my own phone-number,
Pi? I sometimes check the Alphabet in Excel

Oh ..and English isn’t my first language(well truth is it was, but has not been my main language since I was nine)


Whoosh.

Thudlow Boink
01-07-2009, 12:08 PM
What would be good method for someone who doesn’t have a memory fetish to memorize a poem? Let’s say:” The Raven"Some people find it easier to memorize something they hear than something they read, so one thing to try would be to obtain (or make) a recording of someone reciting the poem, and listen to it over and over until it sinks into your memory. "The Raven" shouldn't be hard to find a recording of; one possible source is the Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode that featured the poem.

Setting it to music might also help. I find it easier to memorize songs than poems, and there are literally thousands of songs that I've memorized some or all of the lyrics to without even trying, just from hearing them.

Lust4Life
01-07-2009, 12:09 PM
. Someone I know won a talent show for reciting the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. A bit more literary value, as well.


IMHO the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the finest poem ever written in the English language,get that right and you'll have the audience eating out of your hand.

Infovore
01-07-2009, 12:30 PM
I second 'If' by Rudyard Kipling.

Not particularly long or unique, but it takes some practice and feeling to recite it well. I have heard many people recite this poem, but few did it justice. Although the work stands well on its own, it is a masterpiece when performed correctly.

"The Thousandth Man," (http://quotations.about.com/cs/poemlyrics/a/The_Thousandth_.htm) also by Kipling, is another good choice.

CurrlyD
01-07-2009, 12:36 PM
Y'all have already mentioned many of my favorites: Jabberwocky, The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Raven, The Highwayman, The Ballad of East and West, The Owl and the Pussycat. Here's one I love, and it can be quite impressive, with the added benefit of the yuck factor.

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out (http://www.mste.uiuc.edu/courses/ci407su01/students/north/kristy/Project/K-Poem-Net.html), by Shel Silverstein.

stanger
01-07-2009, 01:56 PM
"The Thousandth Man," (http://quotations.about.com/cs/poemlyrics/a/The_Thousandth_.htm) also by Kipling, is another good choice.

Damn.
Took me a few tries just to get past the first verse.
Had a hard time being able to clearly see the rest.

Having little left to hold me to this world other than one true friend of 45 years, this poem glimpsed my soul.

Note to self :: Read more Kipling.

Humble Servant
01-07-2009, 02:21 PM
Fun fact of the day: Kipling's If is Governor Blagojevich's favorite poem. He has recited it semi-regularly to rapt audiences of thousands of Illinois registered voters.

If you are going to do Poe, for EAP's sake do The Conqueror Worm (as previously championed on these boards by those with particularly high-minded tastes):

But see amid the mimic rout
A crawling shape intrude:
A blood-red thing that writhes from out
The scenic solitude!
It writhes—it writhes!—with mortal pangs
The mimes become its food,
And over each quivering form
In human gore imbued

Mimes, people!

IMHO the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the finest poem ever written in the English language,get that right and you'll have the audience eating out of your hand.The whole thing? Well, it may be, but I bet they won't.

Badmojo
01-07-2009, 07:51 PM
One of my favorites:

Crossing the Bar
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

A Man A Plan A Canal
01-07-2009, 08:02 PM
Two works I like knowing by heart: Seuss' "The Lomax" and T. Lynch's "To the Ex-Wife on the Occassion of Her Birthday." Especially the Lynch.

Baker
01-07-2009, 08:07 PM
Kipling!

http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/tommy.html

Tommy this, and Tommy that

matt_mcl
01-07-2009, 08:12 PM
I see you already have "My Last Duchess," which was one I was going to recommend. Let me add some that I've memorized:

* "To His Coy Mistress," by Andrew Marvell. For extra credit, add His Coy Mistress to Mr. Marvell (http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/1568.html) by A. D. Hope, one of the wittiest poems I've read;

* the first section of the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales;

* anything by Auden, especially Lullaby (http://www.thebeckoning.com/poetry/auden/auden3.html).

greatshakes
01-07-2009, 09:29 PM
I got the urge to memeorize something exactly once, and that Kubla Khan (http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/stc/Coleridge/poems/Kubla_Khan.html). I say go for that!

Yea! verily!
I did this once, and I had the opportunity to recite at a college where I worked. The semi-literatis were impressed, and the one babe that was there surely paid attention when the phrase 'demon lover' was uttered. She remembered my name after that!
All in all, it's worth memorizing-if not to impress, at least to give you goose bumps. Which are fun.

greatshakes

greatshakes
01-07-2009, 09:38 PM
IMHO the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the finest poem ever written in the English language,get that right and you'll have the audience eating out of your hand.

I tried this once; I got about 150 lines memorized. It was BLAMED good, and I'm sorry that I hadn't totally memorized it. IIRC, it's about 500 lines. Oh, now I remember why I didn't memorize it all the way. I looked at the last line of it, and it just took all the fun out of it for me. I didn't want to invest the extra time for 350 more lines just to end up like that. Strange, it was a fantastic poem, till then.

greatshakes

Siam Sam
01-07-2009, 09:58 PM
Just about anything by Charles Bukowski. So hard to choose a single one. But here's a sample:

beer

I don't know how many bottles of beer
I have consumed while waiting for things
to get better
I dont know how much wine and whisky
and beer
mostly beer
I have consumed after
splits with women-
waiting for the phone to ring
waiting for the sound of footsteps,
and the phone to ring
waiting for the sounds of footsteps,
and the phone never rings
until much later
and the footsteps never arrive
until much later
when my stomach is coming up
out of my mouth
they arrive as fresh as spring flowers:
"what the hell have you done to yourself?
it will be 3 days before you can fuck me!"

the female is durable
she lives seven and one half years longer
than the male, and she drinks very little beer
because she knows its bad for the figure.

while we are going mad
they are out
dancing and laughing
with horney cowboys.

well, there's beer
sacks and sacks of empty beer bottles
and when you pick one up
the bottle fall through the wet bottom
of the paper sack
rolling
clanking
spilling gray wet ash
and stale beer,
or the sacks fall over at 4 a.m.
in the morning
making the only sound in your life.

beer
rivers and seas of beer
the radio singing love songs
as the phone remains silent
and the walls stand
straight up and down
and beer is all there is.


from: Love is A Dog From Hell, 1977

KnitWit
01-07-2009, 10:09 PM
I have a couple of suggestions!

There are a couple of longer ones by Shel Silverstein that are a hoot. They are likely a bit easier than what you're thinking of tackling, but still fun.

Mary Anne McKay (I think that's the spelling) is one I memorized and recited in school...

"I cannot go to school today," said little Mary Anne McKay,
I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps...

and so on.

There's another about Sarah Cinthia Sylvia Stout who would NOT take the garbage out. Terrific!

A more adult and serious favorite is "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Eliot. Read it outloud in college and it can be VERY spooky.

Also, "Richard Corey" has a terrific grim ending. Again, rather short and simple for you maybe.

The Second Stone
01-07-2009, 10:49 PM
The Love Song of Alfred J. Proofrock by T.S. Elliot is always a good one to know and you would be surprised how many fellow travellers you will find.

Howl by Alan Ginsberg is interesting too.

A lot of great choices listed by others.

Across
01-08-2009, 12:16 AM
I have a whole bunch of poems memorised, let me see if I can find links for them all . . .

From A Railway Carriage (http://www.bartleby.com/188/138.html)

Juliet (http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/315.html) (a short one)

Sonnet 18 (http://www.artofeurope.com/shakespeare/sha3.htm)

The Sick Rose (http://www.online-literature.com/blake/623/) (another short one)

The Poison Tree (http://quotations.about.com/cs/poemlyrics/a/A_Poison_Tree.htm)

Holy Sonnet 10 (http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15836)

The Flea (http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poem.html?id=175764)

Love's Philosophy (http://classiclit.about.com/library/bl-etexts/pshelley/bl-pshel-love.htm)

The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/1240.html)

Corinna in Vendome (http://www.geocities.com/athens/2464/poems16.html)

I tend to favour love poetry, with the glaring exception of Death Be Not Proud! Blake's pretty dark too, I guess.

susan
01-08-2009, 12:41 AM
Beowulf (http://www.lone-star.net/literature/beowulf/beowulf.html)

Listen:
You have heard of the Danish Kings
in the old days and how
they were great warriors.
Shield, the son of Sheaf,
took many an enemy's chair,
terrified many a warrior,
after he was found an orphan.
He prospered under the sky
until people everywhere
listened when he spoke.
He was a good king!

willthekittensurvive?
01-08-2009, 09:11 AM
Whoosh.

Nope, sad but true,

I thought learning poetry would be fun way to train my memory. My inability to memorise numbers and names is a running joke among my friends and being able to recite a poem would really impress them.

willthekittensurvive?
01-08-2009, 09:17 AM
Some people find it easier to memorize something they hear than something they read, so one thing to try would be to obtain (or make) a recording of someone reciting the poem, and listen to it over and over until it sinks into your memory. "The Raven" shouldn't be hard to find a recording of; one possible source is the Simpsons "Treehouse of Horror" episode that featured the poem.

Setting it to music might also help. I find it easier to memorize songs than poems, and there are literally thousands of songs that I've memorized some or all of the lyrics to without even trying, just from hearing them.

Thanks for the tip, my sister has most of the Simpson’s on DVD, and maybe someone put out a Mp3 of it on the internet,

And music....well you know the guy who always tries to sing with the songs on the radio but always gets the lyrics wrong?...thats me…

Enterprise
01-08-2009, 12:16 PM
I'll put in a vote for two of my favorite Dickinson poems (punctuation will be a bit off, though):

Tell all the truth, but tell it slant
Success in circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm delight
The Truth's superb surprise
Like lightning to the children eased
With explanation kind
The truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind.

But my absolute favorite is this:

As though I asked a common alms
And in my wondering hand
A stranger pressed a kingdom
And I delighted stand

As if I asked the orient
Had it for me a morn?
And it should lift its purple dykes
And shatter me with dawn.

WF Tomba
01-08-2009, 05:28 PM
I hope that you will try Yeats! These three are short, but show different moods:

Easter, 1916 (http://classweb.gmu.edu/rnanian/Yeats-Easter1916.html)

When You Are Old (http://www.bartleby.com/101/863.html)

The Lake Isle of Innisfree (http://www.bartleby.com/103/44.html)
Another vote for Yeats! I memorized "Easter 1916" for a class. What a rush!

IMHO the Rime of the Ancient Mariner is the finest poem ever written in the English language,get that right and you'll have the audience eating out of your hand.
Or you could try this condensed version:

'Twas a mariner ancient said, "Say,
Stick around, lad, and list to me lay:
Shot a bird for a joke,
Saw me shipmates all croak,
Now I give to the SPCA."

Some wonderful, longish, lesser-known poems of Robert Frost that I strongly recommend:

Maple (http://books.google.com/books?id=sm0AAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA52&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=0_0)
Directive (http://hjem.get2net.dk/abra-ken/Frost1.htm)

sillygoose
01-08-2009, 08:25 PM
For fun open mike purposes, anything by Taylor Mali (http://www.taylormali.com/index.cfm?webid=5). Perhaps "How to write a political poem".

I second the Kubla Khan suggestion.

"Imagine the Angles of Bread" Martin Espada

"The Fury of Sundays" by Anne Sexton.

appleciders
01-08-2009, 11:00 PM
I see you like the more positive of A. E. Housman's works. ;)

I'm far more partial to Is my team ploughing (http://www3.amherst.edu/~rjyanco94/literature/alfrededwardhousman/poems/ashropshirelad/ismyteamploughing.html).

To be honest, that's the only one I had ever seen. I ran across it when bored in English class and started browsing the textbook; far more productive than actually paying attention.

lizbetann
01-08-2009, 11:43 PM
"An Overworked Elocutionist"
by Carolyn Wells

Once there was a little boy whose name was Robert Reese,
And every Friday afternoon he had to speak a piece.
So many poems this he learned,that soon he had a store
Of recitations in his head and still kept learning more.

And now this is what happened: He was called upon one week
And totally forgot the piece he was about to speak.
His brain he cudgeled.Not a word remained within his head
And so he spoke at random, and this is what he said:

O beautiful, o beautiful, who standest proudly by,
It is the schooner Hesperus--the breaking waves dashed high.
Why is this forum crowded? What means this stir in Rome?
Under a spreading chestnut tree, there is no place like home.

When freedom from her mountain aerie cried, "Twinkle, twinkle little star!"
Shoot if you must this old grey head, King Henry of Navarre,
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue castled crag of Drachenfels.
My name is Norval, of the Grampian Hills; ring out, wild bells

If you're waking, call me early, to be or not to be.
The curfew must not ring tonight, Oh,woodman, spare that tree!
Charge, Chester, charge! On Stanley, on and let who will be clever.
The boy stood on the burning deck, but I'll go on forever.

His elocution was superb, his voice and gestures fine
His school-mates all applauded as he finished the last line.
"I see it doesn't matter," Robert thought, "What words I say,
"As long as I declaim with an oratorical display."

The fun was learning that at about 6 years old, and spending the rest of your life going, "OH! That poem!" when I run into the lines in situ, as it were.

Across
01-08-2009, 11:52 PM
Ooh, the "mountain aerie" line reminded me of Tennyson (http://www.englishverse.com/poems/the_eagle).

Labor
01-09-2009, 09:34 AM
Wow, you guys know and recommend a lot of wonderful poetry.

I used to recite Jabberwocky to my infant daughter, it seemed to calm her from crying.

How about Poe's "The Bells" or Longfellow's "Excelsior". I enjoy the rhythm of most Kipling. Ecclesiastes (from the bible) was origally spoken, I believe as a sermon, it supposedely takes about 40 minutes to read. It has a lot of wonderful moments in addition to some great theology.

BrainGlutton
01-09-2009, 12:55 PM
So here's my challenge to you, The Dope: which poem should I memorize? Two things to consider:

1. I like narrative.
2. I might like to recite the poem at an open mic.

Try Chesterton's "Lepanto." (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/lepanto.htm)

Or pretty much anything by Kipling.

WF Tomba
01-09-2009, 01:14 PM
"You Are Old, Father William" (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/You_Are_Old,_Father_William) by Lewis Carroll would be a hit in performance.

gonzomax
01-09-2009, 01:18 PM
Gunga Din is a great poem to say out loud. The beat ,the drive and the build up are terrific.

Sailboat
01-09-2009, 02:28 PM
Paradise Lost seems like a crazy idea that I might be tempted to do, but I've never read it. So, would it be worth it? Could I just do one of the books? Which one?

Honestly I think even relatively dedicated fans of poetry will glaze over during epic recitations -- better to cherry-pick the good stuff and keep it short enough to allow people to follow it. Leave 'em wishing for more and not less.

My favorite dramatic selection from Paradise Lost is in Book I, the passage about Satan's fall (http://74.125.45.132/search?q=cache:0jXwVkapWAgJ:www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/komparatistik/downloads/Milton%2520Paradise%2520Lost%2520Anfang.doc+%22said+then+the+lost+archangel%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us). If you're of a mind to go for length you can do the whole thing; I stuck to a bite-sized piece, cherry-picking Satan's defiant speech:

"Is this the region, this the soil, the clime,"

Said then the lost Archangel,

<to>

Regained in Heaven, or what more lost in Hell?

When speaking, you can really ham it up during Satan's monologue.

gurujulp
01-10-2009, 01:44 AM
Whoosh.

I don't think I understand the 'whoosh' as quoted on SDMB... can someone elucidate?

The Second Stone
01-10-2009, 01:59 AM
I don't think I understand the 'whoosh' as quoted on SDMB... can someone elucidate?

The would be Elucidator's job. But I can explain. A whoosh is a very obviously sarcastic comment that goes unnoticed by another poster. Or perhaps intentionally, but again, obviously obtuse remark. Something subtle does not count. http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=500972 is a thread where I "whoosed" someone. Yes, pride is the most deadly sin.

BarnOwl
01-10-2009, 08:12 AM
I don't think I understand the 'whoosh' as quoted on SDMB... can someone elucidate?

I see the term explained as, "You're putting us on."

I wish I hadn't used it this time. Trying to be a good boyo here.

wonky
01-10-2009, 10:32 AM
I'll only be impressed if you memorize "The Faerie Queene." Anything else is child's play.

Northern Piper
01-10-2009, 10:45 AM
Ozymandias (http://www.online-literature.com/shelley_percy/672/)

DaphneBlack
01-10-2009, 04:13 PM
How about 'Ozymandias' by Shelley?

'The Tyger' by Blake is good too.

For a challenging rhythm, one of my favourites is 'Pied Beauty' by Hopkins.

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