Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Poetry Bee: Rekindling the Lost Art of Recitation

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.


  1. I just bought the book. Looking forward to reading it tonight. I'm a homeschooling Mom of 3. I would love to do a poetry club. I used to have occasional "poetry picnics" and would love to hear more about the club you have been in. If you find the time maybe you could email me with some info on what you do? I would love ideas. Thanks. Adella.

  2. Adella,
    I would be happy to email you about our poetry club, but I wasn't able to get your email address from your profile. If you go to my profile and click on email, you can see my email address and send me a quick note.--Melissa

  3. Although I write, teaching college is my day job, and lately I've actually been fantasizing about requiring my students to memorize and recite (just a little) poetry. I wonder if they would be aghast.