ROOM 219

virtual extension of the ESL classroom

Poetry on

The historian of jokes Jim Holt wrote in the New York Times (04/05/09), “I started learning poetry by heart on a daily basis. I’ve now memorized about a hundred poems.” So shall I. I shall resume learning poems, as I used to. I even won a couple of recital competitions. Many a time a line from a poem helped write a good composition or win an argument. Rhymes stored in memory proved priceless in dealing with complicated personal situations, too. Something has happened between then and now. Life has become too full of prosaic duties. Poetry is left aside till April, the National Poetry Month. But not any more. offers just the right format for savoring poetry a line a day! I opened a Twitter account and started with William Shakespeare’s Sonnet II. Follow me at .
We will use a minimalist approach and practice close reading on two verses at a time, then discuss the sonnet as a whole.468px-Shakespeare
More advice from Jim Holt:

Myth No. 1: Poetry is painful to memorize. It is not at all painfull. Just do a line or two a day.
Myth No. 2: There isn’t enough room in your memory to store a lot of poetry. Bad analogy. Memory is a muscle, not a quart jar.
Myth No. 3: Everyone needs an iPod. You do not need an iPod. Memorize poetry instead.

See Holt’s essay at: Got Poetry?

September 6, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I agree and Shakespeare has an amazing grasp of language that is absolutely stunning! Great idea, I will follow
    come visit my poetry page
    I’m giving away poems for free…(too hard to get them published)

    Comment by A.j. | September 7, 2009 | Reply

    • I wanted to visit your blog, but had a problem with domain name. Maybe later …

      Comment by Dr.M | September 7, 2009 | Reply

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