Posted in Life

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

I really enjoy memorizing things. It started (as far as I can recall) years ago when I had to pick one of three things to memorize for school, and I choose “Paul Revere’s Ride” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I can still rattle off pretty much the whole thing without any practice. While this remains my main accomplishment in the field, if I start thinking about it, there are probably (at the very least) two dozen poems stored away somewhere in my head. And that’s not including scripture, quotes, and movie scenes (I could probably do a one-man show of Aladdin).

However, while I like memorizing and am good at it, it does take a bit of effort, and I only occasionally go out of my way to do it. So I have decided that for a year, I’m going to memorize one poem and one section of scripture a month. I know I am capable, I just tend to lack motivation. You are all more than welcome to bug me to see if I’m keeping up.

May’s selections (which actually extended into June because of when I decided this) were Shakespeare’s “To Be, or Not to Be” from Hamlet and Psalm 46. I chose the Psalm because it contains the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” I quote that part a lot to myself, and I wanted to know the context, too. I’d been wanting to memorize that particular Shakespearean monologue for awhile, though I hadn’t realized how depressing it is until I started working on it. But it has so many classic phrases that I decided to do it anyway. (Plus, there’s a version of Hamlet starring my favorite actor, and I quite like his rendition of this speech, though I haven’t actually seen the whole movie. I’ll let you decide how much you think that influenced my decision.)

For June, I’ve chosen Psalm 91, which I already kind of know, but want to finish, and another Shakespearean monologue, this one from Henry V. After that, I don’t know what I’m going to do, except that I know I want to finish memorizing Philippians. If you have suggestions of favorite poems or scripture passages, I’d be happy to consider them!

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5 thoughts on “Repetition, Repetition, Repetition

  1. Oh, may I be your partner in crime?
    I tried memorizing Sermon on the Mount earlier this year, and got through chapters 5, 6, and half of 7, then lost steam. After reading your post I’ve decided to attempt it again. :) I love memorizing too, and yours is a wonderful idea. After Sermon on the Mount I think I’ll probably move to Proverbs 31. Those will be my projects for June. I’m not sure whether or how I will join you in the literary field yet. I’ll brew on that for a bit. ;)
    ~LS.

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