When I was a school librarian, one of my favorite things about April was our annual Poetry Assembly. And although it was a few years ago, I’d wager a few still remember the third grade’s marvelous recitation and dramatic presentation of I AM THE DOG, I AM THE CAT, with Donald Hall’s genius alternating cat and dog voices.
The best argument for verse memorization may be that it provides us with knowledge of a qualitatively and physiologically different variety: you take the poem inside you, into your brain chemistry if not your blood, and you know it at a deeper, bodily level than if you simply read it off a screen.
Am not a Goop, are you?
Augusta Scattergood is former school librarian, a book reviewer and an avid blogger. GLORY BE, her debut novel, was named one of Amazon’s Top Twenty Middle School books for 2012. A second novel has been sold to Scholastic for Fall, 2014 publication.