Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Memory Maintenance

Wyoming today = sunny but cold

When I was in undergrad my poetry teacher had us memorize and recite a poem or two per semester.
I have a terrible memory but loved this challenge.

I often think about how much information I (we?) read and see and hear but don't retain, so I've decided to start helping myself by memorizing again.

1 poem = 1 month

I do this periodically. In fact, I initiated this same project a year ago. Each month for three months I memorized a poem (all of which I remember, by the way) and then I got a new job, got preoccupied, and stopped. What a shame...

Well, here I go again, again.

I've chosen the following poem for this month and it couldn't be more perfect.
There are 12 lines in this poem and 12 days left in the month.
One line per day is doable. It's good. It's better.

*Thanks to my poet-cousin Sean for introducing me to this work. I memorized one other Strand poem called 'Keeping Things Whole'. It's a personal favorite. You can find 'Keeping Things Whole' and more Mark Strand info here

Coming to This
By Mark Strand

We have done what we wanted.
We have discarded dreams, preferring the heavy industry
of each other, and we have welcomed grief
and called ruin the impossible habit to break.

And now we are here.
The dinner is ready and we cannot eat.
The meat sits in the white lake of its dish.
The wine waits.

Coming to this
has its rewards: nothing is promised, nothing is taken away.
We have no heart or saving grace,
no place to go, no reason to remain.

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