Memorize something, deem something worthy of your extra attention and memory. Below is the first poem that I ever memorized, without pressure or requirement. I believe that memorizing a poem, essay, or paragraph from your favorite book can be truly invaluable. When you memorize something, you are forced to give it extra attention, to read between the lines, to understand. I have a theory, imagine your on a deserted island, all alone. What would you have? You would have your memory, you would have that small snippet of literature. Isn’t that worth the trouble? I think so.

In Flanders Field by John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

In Flanders Field was written by John McCrae, a doctor during WWI. From what I understand, McCrae had been treating the injured for seventeen days without a moments rest, during which his close friend died. When a lull in the fighting was finally reached, McCrae sat staring out at the many graves and ditches that scattered across Flanders Field. Then scribbled this short poem and discarded it (obviously a friend of his retrieved it and later had it published). He remarks that although this Great War is occurring, people are dying, artillery echoes through the sky, but the poppies still grow, the birds still sing. It amazes me, you can tell that he expresses pure emotion. It’s a written expression that captures a feeling. That’s what led me to learn it by heart, to give it a second look. So give it a go, memorize.


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