If I were to compare the number of novels to the number of poems I’ve read, the ratio would be at least 100:1. It’s obvious how I prefer to spend my leisure time.
Let me get lost in a story. Let me join Wendy in the adventure of a lifetime in Neverland. Let me travel to planets outside my galaxy with Meg in A Wrinkle in Time. Let me wake up in Oz with Dorothy.
And yet. Every once in a while, I love to sink into poetry. Read it. Read it again out loud. Feel its rhythms. Luxuriate in its emotion. Reflect upon the meaning of life.
When I pick up a novel I read for escape, for entertainment, for a “good” story. At The End, I set it down with a sense of satisfaction and move on to the next good read within twenty four hours. Occasionally, the novel’s theme remains with me for years. Those are the best – stories that encourage me to emulate selfless heroes and teach me how to live a life glorifying to God.
Poetry, at least the poetry I’ve taken time to memorize, always stays with me. When I taught fifth grade, our curriculum offered an excellent selection of poetry to memorize. To this day, my son, now in his thirties, can recite “The Village Blacksmith” by Longfellow. I wanted my students to own that same passion for poetry. We had fun with it, discussed meanings behind meanings, and I hope many of them have a favorite poem from their year with Mrs. Samaritoni.
Next time it’s my turn to post in Scriblerians, I’ll share my favorites. In the meantime, please share with me any poems that you still have memorized from childhood.