24 March, 2008

Poet in the Pit - One-a-Week

In my unrelenting (!) quest to better myself I've seized upon someone else's initiative. It's not an original idea but it appeals to me: I'm going to learn one poem a week until my head can hold no more.

By learn, I guess I mean off by heart, verbatim. Certainly if I choose a poem on Monday or Tuesday I anticipate I should be able to remember it pretty much perfectly on Sunday. But I'll place more importance on enjoying or comprehending it.

I won't lie though, I'd like to be one of those smarmy people who can pull a verse from mid-air seemingly effortlessly.

I guess I'll be setting myself three main targets;
  • Firstly, I want to read poetry by a variety of different poets, hopefully from different backgrounds as well. Therefore I'm going to try and dot around from week to week, and cover a fair number of famous ones, as well as getting a sense of the depth of the art-form.
  • Secondly, for each poet I intend to learn a favourite one, but also to read around it, to get a sense of the poet's overall work, and the context within which he wrote.
  • Thirdly, I hope I'm going to be able to understand the words I'm learning as well as just liking the sound of them. I'd expect I won't get it straight away, but after a few weeks of exposing myself to verse, I might have a better and more immediate feel for poetry, and especially its meaning.
So here goes. On the afternoon of the 24th of March, 2008, I undertake this mission. Obviously I'll be posting here with the poems I'm learning and how it's all going. My first poet will be Ted Hughes (I won't lie, those free poetry pamphlets in the papers last week will help!).

Wish me luck!

No comments: