What Are Simple Poems to Memorize?

Deciding on a simple poem to memorize depends on the individual. Some people may find a haiku to be the simplest of poems to memorize since it is very short. However, others may be able to memorize longer poems with ease because the poem has patterns in it or because the poem speaks to them or means something to them.

Selecting a Simple Poem to Memorize

In choosing a poem to memorize, there are a few guidelines:

  • Select a poem that is not too long.

  • Look for a poem that uses simple words and structure.

  • If you have a specific poem that you need to memorize which is longer or more complex, practicing with a shorter poem may help you perfect a technique to remembering.

  • Many poems have a rhyme scheme that can be helpful to memorization; so, in looking for a piece to memorize, try to find something that has a rhythm and rhyming verse.

Finding a Poem

While there are many choices of simple poems to memorize, a good place to start looking is the website Public Domain Poems. This website offers many poems that are now public domain and free for use by the reader.

Of the many poems by famous writers, some simple poems to memorize include Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice" or Walt Whitman's "Oh Captain! My Captain!" Here are these poems:

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,

Some say in ice.

From what I've tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire.

But if it had to perish twice,

I think I know enough of hate

To say that for destruction iceIs also great

And would suffice.

Oh Captain My Captain

O CAPTAIN! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;

The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

But O heart! heart! heart!

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;

Rise up--for you the flag is flung--for you the bugle trills;

For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths--for you the shores a-crowding;

For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;

Here Captain! dear father!

This arm beneath your head;

It is some dream that on the deck,

You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;

My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;

The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;

From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;

Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!

But I, with mournful tread,

Walk the deck my Captain lies,

Fallen cold and dead.

These are both relatively simple poems to memorize; the first because of its length and the second because of its repetition. However, you may find other poems as well that are simple for you to learn from memory.

How to Memorize a Poem

There are many different approaches you can take to memorizing a poem, and it is best to start with a piece that you are already familiar with or that you have read more than once. Using a poem that you can relate to will also strengthen your ability to memorize the piece because you will better comprehend the sentiment being expressed.

Once you have selected your poem, its time to concentrate on memorization skills. Memorization is not an easy task to master and requires time and patience to perfect, so set aside a certain amount of time each day to work on your memory skills.

  • You should read the poem you wish to memorize several times to yourself, focusing on the words written on the page to get a good mental picture.

  • Then, read the piece out loud, because hearing the words aloud might make the lines stick in your mind more readily than text alone.

  • When speaking the poem aloud, try to find a rhythm to it that you can follow throughout the piece. This way, if you mess up a word or line you should be able to tell that you have made a mistake.

  • After you have a feel for the piece, try to recite it without looking at the page, referring to it only when you get stuck.

  • If there are a few words that have you stalled, recite the single line eight times until the word becomes easy to remember in the whole poem.

  • Practice the entire poem for an audience without the poem in front of you, and if you are still having trouble try reading it once and then repeating it right after.

Eventually, this repetition will improve your memory of the poem and the piece will be easy to recall and recite. When you are ready for a longer piece, split the poem into smaller sections and repeat the steps above.

What Are Simple Poems to Memorize?What Are Simple Poems to Memorize?

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