How to Memorize Poetry?

poems

#21

Hello,

I use a method called IGMP. Today I wrote a blog post with an updated version of IGMP. You can read it here: Updated Version Of IGMP method

This is by far the best method I could come with and if there is a photographic memory IGMP is one step before photographic memory. (By photographic meaning, memorizing really easily and fast, very long texts).

SKard


(Neil Kutzen) #22

I love knowing poems. A great one for memorizers is: If the World was Crazy by Shel SIlverstein. It has so many images and silliness.

I have memorized poems by linking one image to the next one but find that a memory palace creates more lasting images. So now I only use palaces.

Step 1: break the poem into small sections.
Step 2: identify a key word or words in each line
Step 3: Test yourself. Can you recite the whole poem from only seeing the list of key words? This is the only real memorizing you will need to do/
Step 4: Select images (what I call Reminder Images) for each key word
Step 5: Having chosen a Memory Palace for this poem, now link the palace items (loci) to each of the reminder images. Bingo, the poem is remembered.
Tip: No need to do the linking in any particular order. I start with the easiest ones. Regardless of the order in which you do the linking, once done, the palace itself will order the lines for you.

Snowball by Shel Silverstein - I teach my students to memorize this poem with a palace
I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away
But first it wet the bed.


(Neil Kutzen) #23

I love knowing poems. A great one for memorizers is: If the World was Crazy by Shel SIlverstein. It has so many images and silliness.

I have memorized poems by linking one image to the next one but find that a memory palace creates more lasting images. So now I only use palaces.

Step 1: break the poem into small sections.
Step 2: identify a key word or words in each line
Step 3: Test yourself. Can you recite the whole poem from only seeing the list of key words? This is the only real memorizing you will need to do/
Step 4: Select images (what I call Reminder Images) for each key word
Step 5: Having chosen a Memory Palace for this poem, now link the palace items (loci) to each of the reminder images. Bingo, the poem is remembered.
Tip: No need to do the linking in any particular order. I start with the easiest ones. Regardless of the order in which you do the linking, once done, the palace itself will order the lines for you.

Snowball by Shel Silverstein - I teach my students to memorize this poem with a palace
I made myself a snowball
As perfect as could be
I thought I’d keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me
I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
Then last night it ran away
But first it wet the bed.


(Mike Crowl) #24

I’ve recently been adding to the old methods of repetition, linking sounds and using some additional images with a technique that apparently some actors use.

  1. You read the poem through a few times to get the feel of it.
  2. You write the poem out by hand (not on your computer) - I don’t always do this step, but it is helpful.
  3. You write out the initial letters of each word in the poem in the same format as in the poem; in other words, line by line. And you include capitalizations and punctuation.
  4. Then you use this ‘code’ as you might call it, as a way of reminding yourself of the poem as you learn it further.

This still requires repetition to get fluent once you leave the code behind. And I often go back to the code as a way of refreshing my memory. There’s something about the layout of the code on the page that makes the brain keep the thing more clearly in my head,
Though the actors I’ve heard talking about this method claim it’s great for learning stuff quickly, it doesn’t seem to be any better for holding the material in your head long-term. As always, that requires WORK. Sorry about that! But for me it seems to improve the accuracy of what I learn.