Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Memorizing W.C. Williams

I've never been a great memorizer. Speeches were something of an exception to this, so the art was not lost to me, just hidden more often than not. Maybe I just never made the time to do it. I've spent the last three days committing this to memory. I have typed it here from memory, and I think it is right.

This is from W.C. Williams Paterson, speaking of the falls on the Passaic River:

"Jostled, as are the waters approaching
the brink ; his thoughts
interlace, repel, and cut under,

Rise rock-thwarted and turn back
but forever strain forward - or strike
an eddy and whirl ; marked by a
leaf or curdy spume ; seeming
to forget.

Retake later the advance and
are replaced by the succeeding hordes
pushing forward ; they coalesce now,
glass-smooth with their swiftness,
quiet, or seem to quiet as at the close
they leap to the conclusion and
fall! fall in air, as if
floating, relieved of their weight
split-apart, ribbons ; dazed, drunk
on the catastrophe of the descent
floating unsupported
to hit the rocks ; to a thunder,
as if lightning had struck"

Just something to make me use my mind in a different way.

1 comment:

house of shss said...

I will let you know a little secret, the only poem I have committed to memory is "I died for beauty" by Emily Dickinson that I burned into my synapses at the age of 14. I don't think that I will ever forget.