How to quickly learn a poem


To learn a poem by rote – a typical school assignment on literature. However, not everything comes easily remember and nice to read a poem. Our technique may seem complicated at first glance, it requires a lot of knowledge, but if you follow it and improve with every step, it eventually will be able to quickly and efficiently learn a variety of poems.


Metric poem


Read the poem out loud several times. It’s important to remember that any poem, rhyming or not, go back to the oral tradition and involve listening. The poetry was fun and a way to tell the story long before television. In those times, when many were illiterate, poetry has found certain characteristics, including rhyme and poetic meter, which help to remember a poem to those who could not read it off the page.


Before you begin to learn a poem by rote, read it aloud several times. Try rewritten or reprinted.


Do not try speaking the words mechanically, try to read with expression, as though telling the audience the story. Lower your voice, where you want to calm narrative tone and highlight the emotional moments. Help yourself gestures to emphasize the most important. Call to the aid of theatrical skills.


It is important to read the poem aloud. If you hear it, you can catch the rhyme and rhythm and this will help to remember it.


Find the words that you do not understand


The language of poetry is very abundant, and poets often use unfamiliar words to you. If you need to learn the ancient poem, surely it will meet the outdated words or grammatical turnover and unfamiliar names or titles.


Understand and feel the story told in the poem


When you understand all the complicated words, expressions and forms, you need to understand for themselves the subject and storyline. If you not wonder what was going on in the poem, you will be hard to learn it, because it is very difficult to remember the words for which you do not see any connection or sense. Before you learn the text by rote, you should be able to tell by the memory of what it is. At this stage, do not try to reproduce the poem literally – only a summary.


Some poems are narrative in nature, that is, from the beginning to the end they develop a story.


Find the link between the stanzas


Not all the verses describes this way: first, something happened, then the other. However, all we are talking about something, and in the best examples – which usually learn in school – there is a development from the beginning to the end, even in the absence of history. If the plot as such in the poem is not, try to understand its meaning and connection between verses or parts.


Understand how the meter is written poem


Meter – it is the rhythm of the poetic line, its structure is characterized by the number of syllables and accents. The most commonly used is considered pentameter. This binary meters – the first syllable unstressed (weak), the second shock (strong). Rhythm sounds like ta-ta.
Other common in poetry, poetic meters – is disyllabic trochee and three-syllable dactyl, amphibrach and anapaest.


Many verses written pentameter, the size may vary due to the different number of stop, that is repetitions combination of strong and weak syllables. It is also an important feature of the poem, which should pay attention.


Lines of poetry are usually limited by the size.
Three step pentameter means three iambic feet in each line, four step – four six step – six. Very seldom you find a string longer than seven feet.


Find the stressed syllables, and count the number of feet in each line, thereby determining the size of the poem. This will help you remember its rhythm


Note the structure of the poem


Metric poem has a certain size, the length of the verses and the combination of rhymed lines. Now you know the size, so you have to deal with a rhythmic pattern and the number of lines in each stanza. There are solid poetic forms, obeying certain rules – for example, sonnets, Sestina or rondo. See if the poem relates that you teach one of these forms, or its structure invented by the poet himself.


You can read on the Internet about which there are solid poetic forms and how to distinguish them.


Remember Poems structure, you probably can remember, then what if when reading from memory suddenly stumble.


You can also rely on the rhythm of the poem to remember the forgotten line. Even if you find it difficult to distinguish iambic from trochaic, just remember the melody (as in the song, if you sing it without the words): “Ta-ta, ta-ta-ta, ta-ta-ta-ta.”


Read the poem out loud several times


Now you read it much more consciously than at first, as you know the theme of the poem, his sense of rhythm, melody and structure.


Read a poem slowly and with expression. Use all the new knowledge to improve the quality of reading. The greater the understanding and emotion you put into the recitation, the better poem entrenched in your memory.


When the lines of the poem will themselves float in memory, read more by heart and less, looking to the text.


Not fear, however, peek into the book, if you need to. Rely on the text as much as you need. Continue to read the poem aloud again and again, and you will see that more and more rows to mind themselves.


Gradually, you will pass without effort from reading the book to read by rote.
When you are able to recite the entire poem, repeat it at least five or six times to fix in the memory and read without hesitation.


The poem, written in free verse


Be prepared that free verse is memorized more difficult than the metric.


Free verse or vers libre, became popular in the early twentieth century, when some poets-garde (eg, Ezra Pound) announced that rhyme, poetic meter and the division into stanzas, dominated the poetry throughout its history, invented artificial and not able to reflect the truth and reality. As a result, in the last century poetry is often lacking rhyme or rhythm of a given length of stanzas and verses are much more difficult to remember.


Even if you always successfully learned poems by rote, do not expect that free verse you will get easily

Be willing to put in more effort.
If you have a choice, what poem to learn the lesson, and the time is short, then select the traditional form, rather than free verse.


Read the poem out loud several times


First you need to, as in the case of metric poetry, feel the rhythm. Although free verse have no formal properties, which they would be easier to remember, but, as noted by TS Eliot, “the author of free verse is free throughout, except for the need to create good poetry.” He meant that, in any language, even in a normal conversational, you can identify the metric rhythm and patterns inherent in it at an unconscious level, and so do a good line of music even without complying with the rigid structure. According to him, it is impossible to imagine a line that would not have sounded like verse.


When you read the poem aloud, try to catch the tone of the poet. Did he use a lot of commas, which have slowed down the pace of the poem, or let the words flow continuous flow?


Free verse tries to convey the natural rhythm of speech, so that the poem will probably resemble the iambic meter, which is closest to the natural sound of English. Does this apply to your poem?


Or the rhythm of your poem unexpectedly different from pentameter? For example, poet James Dickey known lines three step anapest scattered his free verse.
Read the poem aloud, over and over again until you feel the voice of the poet is absorbed and musical rhythm.


Search for words and references, which you do not understand


Since the free verse – a relatively young genre of poetry, they hardly caught archaisms. Some poets who write in this genre specifically sought closer to normal conversation, not refined poetic. According to William Wordsworth, one of the most notable precursor of free versification, the poet – it’s just people talking to people. However, the poets are pushing the limits of language and because in the art to sometimes resort to a rather rare words.. Use a dictionary.


In the avant-garde and modern poetry as there are many allusions, so pay attention to the obscure reference. Very common classical references to the Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology and the Bible. Study them to understand the deeper meaning of the lines.


For example, a poem by TS Eliot’s “The Waste Land” is so full of allusions that without notes it almost impossible to understand. (and even with the notes it is difficult!).


Again, remember: your goal is to understand the poem before you learn it by heart. Understandably easier to remember.


Find the memorable moments in the poem


Since the rhythm or rhyme will not be able to serve you a clue in the poem to select key points on which you will build. Find those things that you like or surprised you. Let them be more throughout the poem, so that it will be divided into fragments, each of which you will have a special, memorable line or phrase. Even if poem is not divided into stanzas, you can choose the one bright image or phrase on the line every four or every sentence, regardless of how many rows it takes.


Integrate key phrases in a short poem content


As in the case of the metric of the poem before you try to remember it, you must fully understand the content and meaning. Then, when you come to when reading a familiar phrase, you should remember that follows it. Focus on how to embed a “milestone” in the previous step in a short poem content: you should be able to retell it in your own words, relying on them.


If the poem is a narrative character, try to imagine it as a play to remember the sequence of events. For example, in “Home funeral” by Robert Frost is present as a clear narrative mise en scene and the dialogue that this poem really set the scene. However, in the rest of his learning is difficult, although it is written and not in free verse and blank verse – unrhymed iambic pentameter.


Read the poem out loud several times


By now, you should already begin to memorize it thanks to the list of key phrases and summary. Continue to read the poem aloud, and at each subsequent reading, try to make a way from one “milestone” to the other, without looking at the book.


Do not worry if your first time reading will be imperfect. If you are upset, relax and break for five minutes to rest the brain.


Do not forget to use their “milestones” and concise content to memorize all the lines of the poem in order.


learn a poem