Monday, August 28, 2006

Memorizing Poetry

Does anyone out there memorize poetry? I know only a few poems by heart, and bits of others. My mother, on the other hand, knows dozens - as well as her catechism questions. She is 80 years old now and I'm tempted to say that the memorization is a mark of her generation, but I can't recall my dad reciting any poetry. Mairzy Doats, maybe, but not the Hound of Heaven (actual poem here) or anything. Although he was from a good Catholic family (14 kids! two priests, two nuns!) he went to public school and Mom was taught by nuns in a school where several grades were together in one classroom. Maybe that is the difference? I should ask him. I know it made a difference in the Latin he was taught. Not church Latin. But Dad's family was full of singers, and Mom's wasn't. Hmm.

More prayers please, this time for a man named Severn. He was my uncle, my father's brother, and passed away Sunday after a fall and subsequent discovery of pancreatic cancer. He had been in declining heath in recent years and now we know more about why. Actually, I think he had had a stroke two years ago or so. He was a good man who loved to laugh and sing. He knew a lot of jokes. I do believe he introduced me to barbershop music. He gave me the hat off his head once, because I admired it. It was a navy blue Dutch sailor's hat. Thanks, Uncle Sev. And Uncle Sev even ties in with the poetry thing. I remember one summer needing a ride from my sister's in MN to my cousin's in SD, and I got to ride in the front seat of Uncle Sev's big white Caddy ( I remember it as having red seats) and he let me read aloud to him most of the trip. The book? Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.

May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

3 comments:

Leah said...

I memorize poetry: sonnets by Shakespeare, Hopkins, and Elizabeth Barret Browning mostly and bits and pieces of others. For awhile I could quote long sections of "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" and when I was 13 I memorized the "The Lady of
Shallot."

Anway. I'm sorry about your uncle. That's tough. He sounds like a wonderful person.

Candlestring said...

Hooray, Leah! I'm glad to hear it.

Leah said...

:)