April 18

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gillumhouse's picture
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Twas the 18th of April in '75

And hardly a man is now alive

Who remembers that fateful day and year,

And The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere!

When we were assigned to memorize the first 3 stanzas of this when I was in 8th grade, I was in hog heaven because I already knew most of the entire poem!

Madeleine's picture
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Robert Service was another poet I learned all on my own.

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Innkeep's picture
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Ah yes, Robert Service.  Isn't it too bad that kids don't get to memorize poetry anymore. 

We also memorized the Gettysburg Address and the Preamble to the Constitution in school.  GA stuck, but the Preamble didn't

Madeleine's picture
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We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare...do hereby ordain...this Constitution for the United States of America.

Dang, that's as far as I can get. And that's a short one.

My kids memorized stuff because we had fun doing it together. We would do like a call and response, so someone would start the poem and then you chipped in the next line and back and forth.

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Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Anon Inn's picture
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This one severely tugs the strings.  So good for kids to learn the poems then learn more about the history behind them later.

Proud Texan's picture
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Once upon a midnight dreary
While I pondered weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore.

While I nodded, nearly napping
Suddenly, there came a tapping
As if someone gently rapping
Rapping at my chamber door.

Tis some visitor, I muttered
Rapping at my chamber door.
Merely this and nothing more.

(5th grade - 1963....the whole damn poem)

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 Two Robert Frost poems.  Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening and The Road Not Taken.  It's been about 50 years since I learned them but can't remember my cell number.

Innkeep's picture
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My brother does that one too, but  when he gets to Quoth the raven the "Nevermore"  sounds the way a parrot would say it

YellowSocks's picture
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April 18 for me (this year) is the day after tax day.... ahhh.... my accounts are all balanced, my forms all mailed...

Too bad the pile of filing remains...

=)
Kk.

Arks's picture
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My 70-year-old sister can still stay the WHOLE THING!

I, a pup of 57, only know through the sex part (Middlesex).

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Weaver's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

My 70-year-old sister can still stay the WHOLE THING!

I, a pup of 57, only know through the sex part (Middlesex).

You have just a few years on me and I can't remeber most of it anymore.  But (no knock on California) I was educated out west and in So Cal and our version of American history had a different focus.

Now I will have to look it up or ask my DD when she gets home from work, she has a memory like a trap and reads everything she can.  I have no doubt she will be able to recite the entire piece.

OK bugging the daylights out of me, have to go look it up.

 

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Madeleine's picture
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K9 wrote:

 

 

What? You don't know any of this?

Generic's picture
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We had two poems to memorize, one fun....

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The other rather solemn...

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

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Anon Inn's picture
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The American Legion 'sells' paper poppies yearly as a fund raiser.  When I was child my father made a donation, was given the paper poppy and then asked me if I knew why they used poppies for their fundraiser.  He then recited the poem and gave me a history lesson.  His father (Canadian)  fought in that war.

Madeleine's picture
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We had to learn In Flanders Field as well. Not so much Lewis Carroll. 'Trees' was another one we had to learn. I think I still have my grade school poetry book somewhere.

Innkeep's picture
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My brother learned Casey at the Bat in 5th grade.  Unfortunately, 50 years later he still knows it and recites it far too often.

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Innkeep wrote:

My brother learned Casey at the Bat in 5th grade.  Unfortunately, 50 years later he still knows it and recites it far too often.

Try being with someone who does the Haka when the urge arises (not your 50 years later, but nearly 40). He did it the other day being goofy and the next morning I said "Why do you have bruises on your arms?"

Yeah well done, beat yourself silly in a war chant, good, yeah, right on.

 

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Kay Nein's picture
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The day you posted this, I spent the next hour watching Haka videos on YouTube!  I get so sucked in! *lol*

Madeleine's picture
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One if by land and two if by sea

And I on the opposite shore shall be

Ready to ride and spread the alarm

To every Middlesex village and farm...

gillumhouse's picture
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It has been too long. I cannot remember the next stanza and am too proud to go look in my first edition Longfellow DH bought me years ago because of this poem that I rattled off to him every April. We had a bibiophile guest a couple months ago and they talked books so DHbrought out the Longfellow volume. The guest said it would be considered in Fine condition. It is still in the dining room - easily accessed but i will not cheat.

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