Memorization gets a bad rap these days. When criticizing a class, students often say something like, “It’s just a lot of memorization!” We equate memorization with busy work, something tedious that has no purpose. But many of the longest and greatest works of literature—such as Beowulf and the Iliad—existed entirely in memorized form before they were written down. Is there still a point to memorizing poetry even after the invention of writing?
I’d argue yes. I love memorizing poetry, even though it can be hard. Here are a few reasons why I think it’s worth it to commit poems to memory.
“Tabletop RPGs are our modern day Iliad. It’s communal storytelling at its finest[.]” -Marisha Ray
“Enchantment produces a Secondary World into which both designer and spectator can enter.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
In my recent exploration of that fascinating narrative form, the tabletop role-playing game, I have found myself wondering what J.R.R. Tolkien would think of the phenomenon. Dungeons and Dragons, the best-known RPG system, draws heavily on Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth; the first edition of D&D even allowed player characters to play as a “hobbit” before they changed the race name to “halfling” for legal reasons. I can’t help but wonder: what would Tolkien think of this unique way to tell stories, that voice actor and D&D player Marisha Ray calls “our modern day Iliad”?
An open letter to the creator of this infograph. I’d recommend at least skimming it before reading this article.
I am female, but I love the blog The Art of Manliness. I know I’m not exactly their target audience–the blog is the pillar of modern “gentleman culture” and features articles on the care of beards, etiquette, and ways to fold pocket squares. But it’s also full of solid advice and useful tips that everyone can benefit from.
Like many people raised in the evangelical Christian church, I attended a Christian summer camp throughout my middle school years. Like most Christian summer camps, this one had a dress code for girls: no two-piece swimsuits, no super-short shorts (Nike shorts were fine), and no revealing tops.
You’ve probably figured out by now that I love literature. I love reading good books. Even when a class is forcing me to read, if the book is good, I love it. If not for school, I wouldn’t have read All Quiet on the Western Front or Macbeth or “Blackberry Picking.”
Happy Thursday! Today, I’d like to introduce my twin sister, Elise! She already helps edit my blog posts, and I suspect this won’t be the last we see of her. What she has to say today is controversial, and you 100% do not have to agree with her. This post is intended to start a discussion. OK, Elise, you have the floor. -MoMo