The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service- This was my grandpa Hales' favorite and I did a book report on in in the second or third grade. I think I must have been a strange child at times. I think my brother Bryce can do most of it from memory. I can only do the first few lines. I think it's partly what inspired me to want to see the Northern Lights so bad. Johnny Cash does a great reading of it here.
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe- This one I have loved ever since it was on one of the first Treehouse of Horrors where Homer is the guy and Bart is the Raven. It's still my favorite Treehouse of Horrors story and whenever I read it I use the same intonations and expression as on The Simpsons. "Siiiiiirrrr...or Maaaadame?" "Quaff oh QUAFF!!!" "Take thy BEAK from OUT my heart, and take thy FORM from OFF- MY- DOOR!" Ha ha ha it still makes me laugh just thinking about it.
I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud by William Wordsworth- I don't know the first time I heard this or where but I have always loved it and always will. I feel like I've had many moments like this poem and look back at them the same way. Ashley Stinson called them "Bottle Moments" where you take the time to bottle up a memory so well that you can take it out and have it later to enjoy. It's better than a picture.
The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow- I first discovered this poem while finding a virtual geocache. You had to visit a little park in downtown Salt Lake called Gilgal and answer a question about it. (If you haven't been there you should go...it's weird.) It's a little tiny park with all kinds of odd statures and sculptures that don't make sense. My favorite is the guy with brick pants. Everything there, I mean everything, every stepping stone, bench, rock...whatever has some kind of poem, scriptures, hymn etc. etched into it. So, back to the poem...there was a stepping stone, or maybe it was on the base of a sculpture, that had a few stanzas from this poem on it and I LOVED them. I immediately went home and googled the lines and then went to the bookstore and bought a book of Longfellow poems. He's always been one of my favorite poets anyway, he even wrote my favorite Christmas song, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. I feel like this poem sort of embodies the idea of enjoying poetry and I love it.So now that I've gone on and on... my question is...which one do I memorize? As cool as it would be to be like Blake and memorize Sam McGee, I think it's a little advanced for me. Same with The Raven, which I actually tried to do once but failed. That leaves me with Longfellow and Wordsworth....hmmmm. Maybe if I'm good I can do them both.
And maybe I'll memorize a little cow poetry too just for fun...