It’s been a busy time and it is good to see things come to fruition. The Goose Tree has been launched and the geese have flown off into the world. I’ve had a great time working with photographic artist, Victoria J Dean on our collaborative project Dis-Ease and we’re both really pleased with the outcome. Now I’m having the chance to slow down and have a bit of time for reflection.
I’ve taken a few weeks leave from work and have had the chance to do a bit of catching up with reading and thinking about poetry.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about is the idea of learning poetry ‘by heart’. Because I was sent to elocution lessons as a child, I learnt how to memorise poems from a very early age. It was never a chore. As a teenager I continued to learn poems just for myself. They were poems I loved and wanted to carry around in my head. It was my heart that learnt them. I would recite them to myself at random times; when I was out for a walk, or sitting in my bedroom. I still have quite a few of them stored in the grey matter, and over the last few days I’ve been trawling through to find them again. Sonnets are the easiest to recall, but all sorts of things have been coming back, snatches of Sitwell, chunks of Eliot, Betjeman, stanzas from Yeats.
So my resolution is to go back to learning poems by heart. I don’t imagine it will be as easy this time around, but I’m going to give it a go. How nice to have your own personal anthology there for the enjoying any time at all.