When I was a young girl, I fell in love with poetry. I read it quite a bit, and I wrote some of my own poetry. I didn't memorize poems myself, but I was in awe of those that did. I remember reading books in which the characters memorized quite long poems and wishing that this practice still existed. I knew a few people that had memorized poetry, but they were the minority.
Earlier this year our family joined a poetry club as part of our homeschooling experience. I have seen my children grow and make connections through memorizing poems and reciting them. I have been privileged to learn and memorize poetry along with my children. We have begun to recognize specific poets in other venues, and we have learned a lot of new vocabulary. The biggest benefit of poetry in their lives has been somewhat intangible. My children and I "own" these poems because they have become a part of us. This wonderful benefit is not a part of most modern curriculum, but it can be. The book Poetry Bee: Rekindling the Lost Art of Recitation lays out a plan for setting up a memorization group in your school, homeschool, community, or home. It also has a great collection of poems to enjoy reading or memorizing. I recommend this book to all parents, teachers, and other people interested in poetry.