Tips for Memorizing Poetry

Students and preschoolers alike have to memorize poetry. Not everyone likes it, not everyone finds it easy.

According to the researchers from the Pennsylvania State University, memory development is one the most crucial aspects of childhood. It happens that the teacher did not explain how to memorize poetry, and then the parents are not able to help you out properly. But still the mission is doable. Try our tips on how to learn a verse quickly to see if they can help.

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First you need to understand why you are going to learn the poem.

Are you preparing for a reading contest?

Or did you like a poem to such an extent that we want to repeat it and repeat it all the time, wherever we are?

Or are you preparing for the literature exam?

Finally, we strive to complete the homework for the lesson: if you do not learn, you will get an “F”.

The methods in these cases may not coincide in part. So, in order to shine at a competition or remember a work six months later at an exam, you must start learning it at least three days in advance. And just “so that you don’t get a deuce”, you can learn it in one evening. But it will be forgotten just as quickly, and if we suddenly get lost while answering, then it will be difficult for us to remember the continuation.

We can immediately say that the last motivation is the most unfortunate. Educators call it “external”. This means that the goal is not actually connected with memorizing the verse: the student is not interested in the verses, but the opportunity to avoid a bad mark. And the lack of the right motivation can play a cruel joke in this case. Probably, it happened to everyone: you learn, you learn, you are already exhausted, but you have not learned anything. This is because the human brain is not a simple organ at all. Our consciousness feels the meaninglessness of the matter, and memory is not included in the work.

So, the first answer to the question of how to learn poetry will be a little strange: you have to make yourself want to learn this work. Imagine how we learn it and declare with expression how everyone will be surprised, how happy the teacher will be, how the classmates and parents will admire. We will stop calling the work, even in our thoughts, a “stupid rhyme” or something else that is not good. Let’s try to treat it with sympathy – then it will be remembered faster and easier. It is paradoxical, but true: the work that you like always succeeds better.

Are you forgetting just a few lines? Do the same with these lines only. Or you can cut the words into halves.

Remember the poem in “pieces”, as you memorized, and what is there for what, do you forget?

This often happens if the poem is lyrical, lines or parts of lines are repeated in it (anaphora, which gives so much expressiveness and compositional beauty to a poem, greatly interferes with its memorization!) Then our task is to work on the “joints” between the “pieces”.

We used to learn lines one through eight, then nine through sixteenth, seventeenth through twenty-four, and so on. And now we learn together the eighth and ninth, the sixteenth and the seventeenth, and so on. We write these “pairs”, repeat them in every way, and then cut them into strips and into words, and sing to different motives.

Summing up, school work is not always easy, but with our study tips you’ll be able to learn more efficiently. Which one has helped you the most?