Memorizing a text, when you are a beginner (am I too slow?)

(I hope this is the right subforum - I did not find a forum, where to post beginner’s questions)

I started off with the techniques yesterday (more or less). Well, I say more or less, because a couple of years ago, I tried out to learn the capitals (using the major system). I wasn’t very successful and I have forgotten most of it. I was always fascinated by the thought of a memory palace, and since I can remember locations very easily I wanted to give it a try. I have many routes in my head already, and am trying to learn other systems too. So yesterday I played around with all the different methods, and I was using Annabel Lee, since I always wanted to know this poem by heart.

I do know the poem by now almost completely (without the last verse though), however it took me all day long to memorize it (I wasn’t home all day, and slept in, so I guess that’s not quite true, but I guess it might have been 6 to 8 hours in total) I wanted to know, if this is normal for a beginner, of if I was doing something “wrong” (I know, I know, there is no wrong or right, but I guess, you know what I mean).

Although I noticed something very odd: Some of the lines or verses, I can recite pretty fast, but sometimes I have to really put effort into remembering my picture. Does this mean my pictures are unclear? Does this mean the method does not work for me - I guess it’s too early to tell(or is this something normal for a beginner?)
So far I tried out the journey method (seems to work quite fine for the poem. When I went to the museum yesterday, I tried to place some of the information in situ, however, normally I am a pretty fast reader, and this took me forever, and I still forgot something of the information, when I try to recall and repeat it now!)
I also tried the Lanier verbatim method, which fascinated me. This works quite fine, when I use people who are either connected to a funny picture, or my favourite stars. If I use other or people that I do not know that much, I have quite some effort recalling the exact words! (Problem is: I do not know that many persons in the above categories and starting with every letter)

Maybe you guys can help me out here, I would really appreciate some tips, to increase my productivity.

(Pretty much all posts are posted in Memory techniques and Method of Loci, not that organized. But it’s perfectly fine)

As you know, there is no right or wrong. You are a beginner though, so it’s perfectly normal for you to memorize slowly at first. You’ll increase in speed as your visualization skills improve, you get better at summarizing longer sections of text within one image, you’ll know how much detail you need to remember something, etc.

Just review the images while recalling the exact words. I can’t recommend the Lanier method; it always confused me, and it seems it would be better to start off with something simpler. It could work for you though.


Thanks, I will play around with the options some more. Although, I do not quite understand why I do need to revive the pictures (crutches), because I do not seem to need them anymore, once I have constructed a verse on my “visual stage”. I read in another thread that this happens once you have posted your material in the long-term-memory. So, why should I reinforce the pictures in every repition, when I am perfectly able to recite the text without them? Maybe you could explain this some more?

Revise. In some cases, that might be reviving the images. Yeah, you don’t need them after a while. I like to keep them, because I usually forget a sentence or so without reviewing for a while. Then I can always check. But do whatever works for you. Depends what purpose you are memorizing for.

You are right, of course, I can recite the lines now, but in a month I might not. I guess my confusion has to do, with the fact, that I do not know, how go about memorizing those things in a memory palace, and how to work with this!

My purpose is to only be able to recite my favorite poems in my head, if I don’t have a book handy ;). I also would like to learn lists and the content of some nonfiction, that I read, as I am addicted to learning and knowledge. But I don’t want to do some competition. (I would like to do some language exams, though, but my memory isn’t so bad after all, so I will only need to memorize the really hard words, using a mnemotechnique)

Have a great weekend

Thank you, likewise.