Thursday, September 25, 2008

Remembering The Raven

And I just remembered that I forgot
that I want to memorize
The Raven. I started wanting to about seventy years ago
when rote memory was in disfavor and so my
wishes were at war with my beliefs and I
forsook my wishes. Now, having heard the glorious
late Jack Schafer recite it I realize what an
egregious error that was and I want
to make my wish come true before I
die. And now no one will roll their eyes in disgust
if I try to recite it, either, the way people used to
in my teens. I am getting better - I may get well enough
to read my poetry aloud again. If I do, I want to be able
to recite The Raven once in a while. I would like too to be able
to recite Marianne Moores Spensers Ireland but one thing at a
time. I believe when I first read Moore I had already been
longing to be able to recite The Raven. Meanwhile, what
can I recite? I think that Yesenin, The Back Streets of
Moscow, is about it, and for that one I need to memorize too the
name, for some reason resisting my attempts to
know it, of the translator. That and maybe a Sara Teasdale but
I have forgotten the title of that one. Actually two Teasdales and
not the titles of either. Reading biographies of Teasdale finally gave
some glimpse of why I found her so hard to memorize - her poetry and
her person did not coincide as in those days no one
expected them to, it was as if art shows who you
want to be - for who you are you need
a mirror or to wait until after your
death for a lucid biographer. Of
course I suppose one always likes
ones own times best - anyway I
sure prefer mine. It is good to
have lived this long.

No comments: