Poetry by Heart

Memorizing poetry is the subject of this short article.  And it is a task to be taken seriously.  You'd be surprised how often it comes in handy.  Pardon a chauvinist moment as I explain.  Son and Father are sitting around waiting as Mother is doing whatever it is that women do that necessitates a nearly complete halt in the proceedings for a protracted period of time.  At that time, when the high, fruity voice emerges from the chamber announcing she is nearly ready to emerge, both son and father have recourse to Andrew Marvell--"Vaster than empires and more slow."

On other occasions, at parties where entirely too much nothing is being said about entirely too many people, and there are far too many poseurs standing about exhibiting everything they don't know, one can simply remember, "In the room women come and go//talking of Michelangelo."  The cautionary tales of Spoon River and "Miniver Cheevy" (among others) cannot be overlooked.  And how many times have we thought of our various CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CIOs, and others who make haste to lord it over everyone in ways that are simply de trop:

"`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."


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