Thursday, October 13, 2011

From a Love Letter

Just memorized this stanza this morning -- this is from memory:
I don't love you because you're good at rhymes
and not because I think you're not-so-dumb,
I don't love you because you make me come
and come and come innumerable times;
and not for your romantic overcoats,
and not because our friends all think I should,
and not because we wouldn't or we would
be at or not be at each other's throats,
and not because your accent thrills my ear --
last night you said not "sever" but "severe,"
but then "severe" describes the act "to sever" --
I love you for no reason whatsoever.
It is so easy to memorize metrical stuff that rhymes: I got this by heart in five minutes, and started graving it in my long-term memory by saying it over as I walked back from Tosi's; just a couple recitals tomorrow and I'll have it forever. It's from "Love Letter" by Gjertrud Schnackenberg, from the early 80's. The whole poem is marvelous.


Kathleen said...

What fun!--the poem and the memorizing of it!

Dale said...

I love memorizing poetry. I used to be puzzled about why poetry people these days did it so seldom, until I started reading modern poetry. Then I realized -- oh, the answer's simple: it's tedious and difficult to memorize free verse! There's no memory hooks to hang it on: you have to use brute force.

I have lots of poetry by heart, but almost none of is later than Yeats.