Thursday, July 26, 2007


Jamaica Kincaid was a bit late to this afternoon's Q&A. So to pass the time, poet Henri Cole asked audience members to stand up and recite any poems we had memorized. I was surprised and saddened to realize I didn't know any. The best I can do is the opening lines to A Prayer for Owen Meany...

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice. Not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God. I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.

It gets better from there, but I can't remember anymore. It's a great beginning, but I should know a poem, dammit! (And maybe a little more from Owen Meany's first paragraph.) So this is the task I'm set for myself, to memorize a really great poem. And then who knows? Maybe I'll want to memorize another. Another? For starters, I'm thinking maybe something by Carl Sandberg or Emerson.

I challenge others to do the same. Come on, at least it's not the multiplication table.

1 comment:

lpanik said...

I tried to think of one I know...?????...sorry nothing comes up except nursery rhymes. Does that count?
OOH-OOH, does Dylan's songs count??
"It's OK mom, I'm only bleeding."