Poetry memorization.. i guess i started with poems from books i was reading anyway, One ring to rule them all
, T'was brillig
, and such. Then freshman year in high school
, our evil english teacher
made us memorize poems and recite them in front of the class. I still know most of Rudyard Kipling
, of Ozymandias
, of In Flanders' Fields
. When we made mistakes, he would hold up one finger for each mistake, and the whole class would titter and make faces - torture for a shy
Then, four years later, I was at a school in England and had "evening school" - when i was required to be in my room working. Of course, what i was really working on was practicing juggling, and also memorizing poems - Plath's Fever 103º, Lady Lazarus (out of the ash/I rise with my red hair/ and I eat men like air); John Berryman - Life, friends, is boring...; Archibald MacLeish's Ars Poetica; tidbits of Shakespeare. Others and more.
Some of these I still remember. When i was free to walk about alone on the downs there, I would repeat them, hearing a voice as an instrument, and the words thrilled me.