What Was The Purpose?

If only I was, as tall as a tree
Then I could gaze, to eternity

As a child in school, during the 1960’s, we had to memorize poetry.

Then flawlessly recite it out loud, to the class.

What was the purpose?

I recall none of the poems today.

I never used them in ‘life’.

Poetry is not a main attraction for me today.

By the time I had children of my own, schools no longer read/recited poetry.

So what was the point to memorize and regurgitate poetry as an 8-11 year old child?

Grandma remembers the first poem she first memorized at age 8 or 9.

” The wise old owl sat on an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke,
The less he spoke, the more he heard,
Why aren’t we like that wise old bird? “

photo by ren

Did any of you have to memorize and recite poetry at a young age?
Did you enjoy it?
Do you remember any of the poems today?

Thank you,

Daily Prompt: memorize


  1. I was not taught to memorize or recite anything and I regret it a lot. My parents and grandparents could recite whole poems (not exactly or perfectly) and I thought, what a GREAT way to be a person ‘of the arts’ . Today this art form is all but dead. I can recite some slips of writing. I memorized Khalil Gibran’s On Pain because it was my energetic signature at the time…I was healing from a terrible marriage. I really am so sorry we don’t have our children at least learn of this in school. The arts are so diminished and not given much of ANY due these days. It’s all about sports or getting kids through school by the skin of their teeth. Today, it is not rewarded in any way. A crying shame.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a child in school from the 80’s, we had none of that from what I can remember. I don’t think I would have got on very well remembering a poem.
    But what I do remember when reaching junior school was we had to take turns and get up to say our times table individually. You started from two’s then worked up. So if you got your two times table right, then the following week you would do your three times table. If you were wrong, then you did that same time table the following week until it was right. I hated it. It sucked out my confidence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So very well put… It sucked out your confidence. That is what it is meant to do… I believe. I hated all that, ”repeat till you are perfect” crap. So glad to be grown up now and just let all that past crap go. Like you are doing with all these steps you are taking to become the best ‘you’ there is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Reciting does not help in jobs. I can see it helps with a good memory properly, but if you don’t feel good about yourself and then even further less confident after doing something like this at school that you don’t feel good at, then it does not help the person in the end. I was so glad to see back of school and I have never missed it. I have learnt more outside of school and fight to learn more to do my best, the best I can. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I very much agree with you!
        We have a new school system sprouting forth where kids will be asked to show what they want to learn. They will then follow those learnings until they are ready to learn something else that is of interest to them. NOT crap that is shoved down throats and expected to be robotically repeated.
        Better days are here now and growing strong!
        And what you are doing to better yourself, adds to the energies of a healthy future.Thank you and Hugz 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • The kids will be the ones ‘running’ it…. telling the older people what it is that they want to learn, now. That is powerful! That is beyond ‘confidence’. It is more like a ‘knowing’ and very beautiful. As it should be.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What I am remembering with fondness is so counter to what many of you were taught to do (in reference to sucking out confidence.) My elders were so well versed in lovely poems, and my childhood sprinkled with hearing my gampa’s and mothers’ voices reciting their favorites. None of the poems recited were in any way perfect, and often the poems were looked up in a book to refresh memory. I recall soooo many poems. The Raggedy Man, Out and Old Aunt Mary’s, October Skies, The Highwayman (my absolute favorite) and literally hundreds more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What an awesome experience to grow with. I imagine, hearing those voices reciting the poems would stimulate an appetite for such. I can hear their grand voices now…. you were very, very blessed in childhood. 😀


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