Most poets recite other poets’ poems better than they do their own. It seems that most of us let ourselves into the door and the whole house of another’s poem; whereas, with our own, we tend to hold back on the front porch and be a bit shy. Memorization helps us to understand a poem. We have to follow the mind of the poet; we recreate the logic, experience, and feelings that put the poem together. No one can ever know the struggle to make poetry out of experience except the poet who did it; nevertheless, memorizing a poem is as close as another person can get to composing one.

~ TOI DERRICOTTE

Advertisements