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Saturday, April 18, 2015

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five

"Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year."

I had to memorize the first two stanzas of The Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. So, I always remember the date and story.

"One if my land, two if by sea;
and I on the opposite shore will be..." 

These two lines above are probably the most famous. The rest of the poem , published in 1861, is equally enthralling to me.

I m eternally grateful to my teachers for assignments that required me to memorize poetry and prose like the Preamble to the Constitution.

Only one egg today. The hens have been frustrated because I have had no oats for the last four days. So, last night, I purchased whole grains oats. Today, they are happy.

Your turn
Did you have to memorize portions of this poem when you were in grade school?  Mybe you are not a fan of Longfellow? What is your favorite poem he wrote? Do children memorize for school assignments?


  1. Yes, we did have to memorize portions of Longfellow. I think children should still have certainly served me well in college and beyond in many ways.

    1. Meg B.,
      My children were not required EVER to memorize anything for school. I required them to memorize poems.

      When I decided they should, their confidence in their ability to memorize a long block of poetry was low. I think memorization increases our confidence in our own abilities. It never hurts to be able to quote a little Chaucer, either.

  2. i remember memorizing the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. Also memorized William Fonteroy for a skit in a talent show too..

    1. I looove The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner! Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Back when I was in school (when dinasaurs roamed the earth), memorization was expected and required - everythng from historic dates to state capitals to multiplication tables. Not only did memorization give a child a sense of accomplishment, but some of it is still useful to me today. I can balance my checkbook without a calculator and I can count back change. How many kids can do that now? I still believe that some - not all - of the teaching methods from years past are still good. And I believe that more time should be spent on the basics as opposed to diversity or worrying about whether little Johnny feels good about himself. But what do I know. I'm just a grumpy old grandma.

    1. Vicki,
      Those are very good points. Thanks for the reminders. Yep, just a grumpy old,

  4. I had to memorize a lot of things and often they come in handy, either just to know or as a reference, but I admit I have never once needed to know the prologue to The Canterbury Tales. ( But I do know it)

    1. Anne,
      I think I did need to know the

      I told an AP (advanced) that when I was in high school that we did not have calculators. She was stunned and asked how we worked algebra problems. I held up a pencil. She was in disbelief. She sadly said that she would fail if she did not have a calculator.

      Don't get me started on making change....grrr.


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