Friday, 13 June 2014

Learning off by heart

A Scottish friend of mine can   make jaws drop with his rendition of a poem by Robert Burns called 'To a mouse'. My husband can still repeat perfectly poems in Greek, Latin and French that he learnt forty years ago. My education didn't seem to centre on learning things off by heart, so my party pieces are all nursery rhymes. I do like learning poems off by heart though, for my own personal pleasure. Here is one by Susan Coolidge  that is short and easy and she seems to be telling us to take the rough with the smooth, not to keep on going over past hurts and to look forward with hope..

New every morning

Every day is a fresh beginning
Listen my soul to the glad refrain
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning
Troubles forecasted  and
possible pain
Take heart with the day
and begin again

If you feel like impressing someone with a Scottish accent just learn the first verse of 'To a mouse'

Wee sleeker, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie
O, what a panic's in thy breastie,
Thou need na start awa' sae hasty
Wi' bickerin' brattle
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee
Wi' murderin' prattle!

In Italian to learn something off by heart is translated as a memoria, which means by memory. Parrot fashion is the same a pappagallo.

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