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Anyone here had to recite?

DigiTrad:
DECK OF CARDS
JIM
RINDERCELLA
STORY OF PETEY, THE SNAKE
THE PEE LITTLE THRIGS


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Peter T. 21 Sep 00 - 01:23 PM
MMario 21 Sep 00 - 01:27 PM
Rana who SHOULD be working 21 Sep 00 - 01:28 PM
Kim C 21 Sep 00 - 01:28 PM
Bert 21 Sep 00 - 01:28 PM
Naemanson 21 Sep 00 - 01:37 PM
MMario 21 Sep 00 - 01:40 PM
SINSULL 21 Sep 00 - 01:44 PM
Bert 21 Sep 00 - 01:52 PM
GUEST,John Leeder 21 Sep 00 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Giac, not at home 21 Sep 00 - 02:07 PM
Mary in Kentucky 21 Sep 00 - 02:25 PM
dwditty 21 Sep 00 - 02:28 PM
SINSULL 21 Sep 00 - 03:30 PM
Ebbie 21 Sep 00 - 04:24 PM
Liz the Squeak 21 Sep 00 - 04:26 PM
Bagpuss 21 Sep 00 - 04:28 PM
mousethief 21 Sep 00 - 04:29 PM
Jim Dixon 21 Sep 00 - 04:37 PM
Bagpuss 21 Sep 00 - 04:43 PM
Naemanson 21 Sep 00 - 05:03 PM
SINSULL 21 Sep 00 - 05:10 PM
annamill 21 Sep 00 - 05:14 PM
M.Ted 21 Sep 00 - 05:20 PM
Ma-K 21 Sep 00 - 05:31 PM
Bill D 21 Sep 00 - 05:54 PM
Mbo 21 Sep 00 - 06:10 PM
Joe Offer 21 Sep 00 - 06:30 PM
Uncle_DaveO 21 Sep 00 - 10:24 PM
GUEST,CLETUS 21 Sep 00 - 10:40 PM
Marion 21 Sep 00 - 11:20 PM
rabbitrunning 21 Sep 00 - 11:33 PM
KT 21 Sep 00 - 11:39 PM
Susan A-R 21 Sep 00 - 11:47 PM
Metchosin 21 Sep 00 - 11:49 PM
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Subject: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:23 PM

Totally gone from human experience seems to be recitations. When I was a child, memorization to recite in front of whoever was dying, but I still had to do it. "The boy stood on the burning deck" thread reminds me of it. "The Highwayman" was one I had to do. Also, speeches from Shakespeare -- Henry IV, Part 1. Americans at one time had to be able to recite the Gettysburg Address -- a previous generation had to recite Longfellow ("Beneath the spreading chestnut") or other stuff ("Excelsior!") ("Curfew shall not ring tonight!) ("One if by land...").

I hated it, but now I think it is a great loss that no one memorizes this stuff. I wish I had done more of it. If I am ever in prison or on a desert island, I have scraps of stuff, Shakespeare, Milton, mostly. But wouldn't it be nice to have more?

Anyone have other things that they were forced to recite?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:27 PM

Rime of the Anciant Mariner

Paul Revere's Ride

Gettysburg address

Under the Spreading chestnut Tree

the "mercy" speech (the Koala Tea of Mercy is not strained)

The Night Before Christmas


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Rana who SHOULD be working
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:28 PM

Forced to take elocution lessons with - wait for it - Mrs. English. We then had to take London School of music elocution exams. Can still remember the one "I wish it would rain" after 36 years or so - shudder. Owl and the Pussycat, however, was fine.

Rana


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Kim C
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:28 PM

"The Queen, my lord, is dead," thing from Macbeth. The introduction to the Canterbury Tales in Middle English. Some poem about "my heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky." I think all of that was from my senior year in high school... a million years ago...


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Bert
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:28 PM

I sprang to the stirrup and Jorris and He....


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Naemanson
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:37 PM

"Forced" to recite? Does this mean none of you do it today? I am working on a recitation for one of our concerts.

The late great David Parry always included a recitation in his performances. I saw him do The Face On The Bar Room Floor once at Old Songs and he nearly had the house in tears.

Come on in, every one, the water's fine! Learn something new and take it to a performance! You'd be surprised at the effect on your audiences. It's just like storytelling only more structured. Not much room to improvise.

Here's a Challenge! Prepare a recitation for the Mudcat gathering in New Hampshire in November!


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: MMario
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:40 PM

yeah - forced to recite. There's a diference then doing it voluntarily. Among other things, I don't think those items you are forced to memorize "staY" as well as those you memorize on your own.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:44 PM

Quick as it fell from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf
She leaned far out on the window sill
And shook it forth with a royal will.
A shade of sadness, a blush of shame
Over the face of the leader came.
The nobler nature within him stirred to life
At that woman's deed and word
"Who touches a hair on yon grey head
Dies like a dog
March on" he said.

Yep - I had to recite.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Bert
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:52 PM

My Dad used to read that one to us SINSULL what a great story I think I might just look that up again and learn it.

Up from the meadows rich with corn
clear in the cool September morn...

It somehow reminds me of another one we had to learn at school.

On either side of the river lie
long fields of barley and of rye
and through the fields a road runs by
to many towered Camelot.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: GUEST,John Leeder
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 01:57 PM

People of my parents' generation used to recite at parties, etc., where others would sing. A favourite author in Canada was Robert Service, another was William Henry Drummond (my mother had several Drummond poems in her repertoire).

Drummond is out of favour these days because he wrote in French-Canadian dialect. My own feeling is that he wrote with affection and interest, not to put down or make fun of franco-Ontarians. However, anybody reciting Drummond nowadays has be prepared to defend him against a certain amount of hostility.

A couple of good sources of Newfoundland material for recitations would be Ted Russel (he wrote poems as well as stories) and Lem Snow.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: GUEST,Giac, not at home
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 02:07 PM

'Neath the spreading chestnut tree...

Gettysburg Address

Preamble to the Constitution

Paul Revere's Ride

Various things from Shakespeare

The Highwayman -- an especial favorite

My mother had a large number of siblings. Every Sunday for many years, the whole bunch gathered at one home or another for dinner, after which each child under the age of 10 or so was expected to recite something. The smaller ones were stood upon an ottoman. There was great twisting, tongue chewing and ducking of heads, but one had to get through it.

Actually, the one that stood me in best stead was the Gettysburg Address. In those days, "party lines" were ordinary, with as many as 8-10 households sharing one phone line. While having a conversation, others on the line would pick up and listen. Once, on a whim, I started to recite, "Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new ..." Before I got to the word "nation," I heard six clicks as "listeners" hung up. I used that a few years before we finally got a private line. If someone picked up again, all I had to do was start over -- CLICK!


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 02:25 PM

It was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea.
That a maiden there lived whom you may know,
By the name of Annabelle Lee.
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
--------Annabelle Lee by Edgar Allen Poe


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: dwditty
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 02:28 PM

MMario pretty much hit my list.

In high school, the speech teacher asked me to enter the American Legion Oratory Constest. I was way to shy to say no. I had to write a speech about the constitution that was 11 minutes long, plus or minus 10 seconds, memorize it, and walk out on the auditorium stage in front of the whole school and recite it. I still have nightmares about it. It was alot better the second year, though...

dw


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 03:30 PM

Me too DW.
"Lincoln is become for us the test of human worth..."and my mind went blank. I always thought that if they had let me use "has become" I could have made it through.
We had to memorize speaches form some ancient book on oration. My worst nightmare.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Ebbie
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:24 PM

Gettysburg Address

And one that I stumbled on: the Star Spangled Banner. I suspect that the teacher who assigned it was already aware that for some reason it's much harder to recite a song than to sing it. Or at least that has always been true for me.

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:26 PM

How like a fawning publican he looks, I hate him for he is a Christian, and more than that, in low simplicity, he lends out money gratis, and so brings down the rate of usurance here in Venice.

We had to learn this as a class. We were taken to see the play. Regretably it was a cheap production, with Bassanio last seen playing a schoolboy (in 'To serve them all my days) and Portia played by a former soap (Crossroads!) actress, who was a good 15-20 years older than her alleged boyfriend! The actor playing Shylock looked too much like a teacher at another local school, and he was having difficulty. To have 60+ schoolgirls all aged between 14-15 acting as prompt when he corpsed at 'How like a fawning..... a fawning.....' was not the best night of his career....

Mind you, having said that, I've been teaching the bratling to recite Omar Khyyam (awake, for morning in the bowl of night has flung the stone that put the stars to flight) and Wordsworth (he bloody does eat daffodils), just for a laugh, but also because I think it encourages retention, and I certainly put my ability to learn lines down to it. Pity it doesn't work with songs - I can remember the words, or the tune, can't do both.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:28 PM

The last recitations I did were when I was at school. Luckily we could choose our own material sometimes. I did Jabberwocky, and Cinderella - by Roald Dahl.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: mousethief
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:29 PM

All my recitals came at school. I did the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, the entirety of The Walrus and the Carpenter (240 lines! sheesh!), and of course the preamble to the U.S. constitution (which I had memorized from the Schoolhouse Rock thing on Saturday morning TV, so it wasn't hard at all!).

But good point, Peter T., about having stuff in one's head. I'm told there are monks who memorize the whole of the Bible. That may be carrying it a bit too far!

Alex
O..O
=o=


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:37 PM

Peter T.: Why did you recite in front of "whoever was dying"? Oh … never mind. (Grin)

Yeah, I had to memorize the Gettysburg Address (which I could still recite), the first few sentences of the Declaration of Independence ("When, in the course of human events…"), the Preamble to the US Constitution ("We, the people…"). I don't recall having to recite them, though; I think we had to write them out to prove we had memorized them. Good thing, too. It would have been awfully tedious to listen to a whole class of kids reciting the Gettysburg address.

I would be interested in knowing: what documents in other countries are considered of equal importance?

The Pledge of Allegiance doesn't count, does it?

Plus there were numerous short poems, and excerpts from long poems, that are mostly forgotten now. I can remember only a few titles: Longfellow's "Hiawatha," "Evangeline" and "The Village Smithy." Poe's "The Bells" and "Ulalume." Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard." ("Many a flower is born to blush unseen, and waste its sweetness on the desert air.") Something-or-other by Emily Dickinson. I think there was one of Shakespeare's sonnets, and a speech or two: Hamlet's soliloquy "To be or not to be…", and Macbeth's "Is this a dagger which I see before me…?" Also, "Kublai Khan," ("In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome decree, where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea…") "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," ("It is an ancient mariner, and he stoppeth one of three…") "Dover Beach." ("… till human voices wake us, and we drown.") Whitman's "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd."

One thing that has stuck with me is several verses from Poe's "The Raven" ("Once upon a midnight dreary…"). I loved that poem, and I believe I memorized several more verses than the teacher required. I also voluntarily memorized a big chunk of Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." ("Let us go, then, you and I, while the evening is stretched out against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table…") I loved that poem, too. I found it vaguely funny and sad at the same time. Funny because of the (deliberately) awkward figures of speech; sad because the narrator, like me, seemed to be shy and lonely and awkward when trying to talk to a woman.

Stage fright is a funny thing. I'll bet some of those people who hated to "recite" are the same ones who could sing a song with no trouble. I have known good actors who would fall apart at the thought of singing or improvising, and I have known people who could do brilliant improvisations but wouldn't think of auditioning for a play because "I could never memorize all those lines."


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 04:43 PM

Jim Dixon - thats true. I can get up and sing anytime. But public speaking (even introducing my song...) really scares the excrement out of me!

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Naemanson
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:03 PM

I'm curious about the distribution of reciting to national school systems to years that it was required. In other words:
When were you required to do these recitations?
Where (Country) were you at the time?
What were you required to recite?

In other words, it is obvious that only a United Statesian would be required to recite the Declaration Of Independence. Were any of you from the US and also required to recite, say, Gray's Elegy? Were any of the British contingent required to recite Longfellow?


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: SINSULL
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:10 PM

speech, not speach DUH!
Liz,
I had my son learn some Frost: "these woods are lovely dark and deep, etc" and explained how it had been used by Kennedy and others. It made an impression - he still remembers.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: annamill
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:14 PM

I was also made to recite almost all those old things. If I hadn't read this thread I wouldn't have remembered a one of them. Not surprising though. Not remembering much these crazy days. Seeing them was very nostalgic.

Sinsull, that was a wonderful tidbit. Would you mine letting us know what it's from? The one that Bert knows please? I'd like to read the whole thing.

My daughter, many years ago, could recite 'The Jaberwocky' and she was only 6. I don't know if she still remembers it or not. I'll have to ask her. She loved saying those phrases and she did it with such accents. It almost made sense to me.

Love, annamill


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:20 PM

BREATHES there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
'This is my own, my native land!'
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burn'd
As home his footsteps he hath turn'd
From wandering on a foreign strand?

Innominatus, Sir Walter Scott


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Ma-K
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:31 PM

Gee Wizz I did "I know my face ain't no star", and " Out in the garden where I play". I still remember them. I was three years old then and almost seventy now...Mary ,


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 05:54 PM

had to learn some Shakespeare in 8th grade..(I did Launcelot Gobbo's speech from "Merchant of Venice)

But...my father had a poem ABOUT recitations which he wrote out for me...and someone accidently threw away..if anyone at all knows any more of this..please fill it in!:

"There was once a little boy
And his name was Robert Reece
And every friday afternoon,
He had to speak a piece.
So many poems thus he learned,
That soon he had a score
Of recitations in his head--
But he still kept learning more.

Now one day he was called upon...(gets muddy here)
And found, the piece he was to speak
Had vanished from his head...
And so he spoke at random...
And this is what he said...

"My beautiful, my beautiful,
Who standith proudly by...
It was the schooner Hesperis..
The breaking waves dashed high!
........
........
Roll on, thou dark blue crested crags..(of passion fells?)
My name is Roland..of Norman hills!

etc...lines from "Under the Spreading Chestnut tree and many other poems...ending with...

"........among the fields of heather(maybe)
The boy stood on the burning deck..
But I go on forever!"

wow...my dad never sang...but he DID recite lots of stuff. If I could re-capture that one, I'd be pleased!


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Mbo
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 06:10 PM

I was never forced to recite anything in my life. And I hardly ever memorize poems or songs either.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CREATION (James Weldon Johnson, 1927)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 06:30 PM

I suppose that memorizing quotations and poetry was the thing I hated most about my Catholic education. The nuns started us out in grade school, and then the preiests in my eight years in the seminary were even worse. We had to memorize stuff in English, Latin, German, and Greek. Now I'm glad they made us do it. When I started seminary training in the 9th grade, we had to memorize a long poem. I could have chosen The Cremation of Sam McGee which I've read at campfires dozens of times in my life since then but haven't quite been able to memorize. But I was a pious young seminarian, so I chose this one (below).
-Joe Offer-
THE CREATION
(James Weldon Johnson)

And God stepped out on space,
And he looked around and said:
I'm lonely --
I'll make me a world.
 
And far as the eye of God could see
Darkness covered everything,
Blacker than a hundred midnights
Down in a cypress swamp.
 
Then God smiled,
And the light broke,
And the darkness rolled up on one side,
And the light stood shining on the other,
And God said: That's good!
 
Then God reached out and took the light in His hands,
And God rolled the light around in His hands
Until He made the sun;
And He set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.
And the light that was left from making the sun
God gathered it up in a shining ball
And flung it against the darkness,
Spangling the night with the moon and stars.
Then down between
The darkness and the light
He hurled the world;
And God said: That's good!
 
Then God himself stepped down--
And the sun was on His right hand,
And the moon was on His left:
The stars were clustered about His head,
And the earth was under His feet.
And God walked, and where He trod
His footsteps hollowed the valleys out
And bulged the mountains up.
 
Then He stopped and looked and saw
That the earth was hot and barren.
So God stepped over to the edge of the world
And He spat out the seven seas-
He batted His eyes, and the lightnings flashed-
He clapped His hands, and the thunders rolled-
And the waters above the earth came down,
The cooling waters came down.
 
Then the green grass sprouted,
And the little red flowers blossomed,
The pine tree pointed his finger to the sky,
And the oak spread out his arms,
The lakes cuddled down in the hollows of the ground,
And the rivers ran down to the sea,
And God smiled again,
And the rainbow appeared,
And curled itself around His shoulder.
 
Then God raised His arm and He waived His hand
Over the sea and over the land,
And he said: Bring forth! Bring forth!
And quicker than God could drop His hand,
Fishes and fowls
And beasts and birds
Swam the rivers and the seas,
Roamed the forests and the woods,
And split the air with their wings.
And God said: That's good!
 
Then God walked around,
And God looked around
On all that He had made.
He looked at His sun,
And he looked at His moon,
And He looked at His little stars;
He looked on His world
With all its living things,
And God said: I'm lonely still.
 
Then God sat down--
On the side of a hill where He could think;
By a deep, wide river He sat down;
With His head in His hands,
God thought and thought,
Till He thought: I'll make me a man!
 
Up from the bed of the river
God scooped the clay;
And by the bank of the river
He kneeled Him down;
And there the great God Almighty
Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,
Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night,
Who rounded the earth in the middle of His hand;
This Great God,
Like a mammy bending over her baby,
Kneeled down in the dust
Toiling over a lump of clay
Till He shaped it in His own image;
 
Then into it He blew the breath of life,
And man became a living soul.
Amen. Amen.
 

From God's Trombones: Negro Sermons in Verse, 1927


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 10:24 PM

Ah, Bagpuss, you've mentioned the sacred text: Jabberwocky!

Not that I was REQUIRED to memorize it (at least by grownups). In high school my two principal co-conspirators (or partners in crime, if you like that expression better) and I had "a club" called The Royal Order of Borogoves. As I recall, the entire purpose of this club was to have Jabberwocky--the whole thing!--as our password. As I recall, the chief duty of a loyal Borogove was to get mimsy on Saturday night. (Noticeable lump of tongue in cheek here.)

A couple of years ago I attended the 50th reunion of my high school class. All three of us old buddies were there, hadn't seen each other in at least 47 years, and then only in passing. Just as the dinner was breaking up, I said to Bruce and Norman: "Hey, we haven't said the password!"

As soon as we left the banquet hall, with one accord and in loud tones we declaimed the full Jabberwocky, with appropriate histrionics, while our respective wives looked on in awe that we all remembered it in detail after nigh on fifty years!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: GUEST,CLETUS
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 10:40 PM

Now Catspaw seems ta know an awful lotta stuff thet he sez he had ta lern by hart wen he went ta skule an all. He seemz ta like thet kinda' stuff an I know fer a fact thet he kin memrize dam neer ennythang. Now me, well I git me a topnotch Merican forth grayd edgykashun an I kin stikk member a pome I lernt. Heer goze.....

Gene, Gene, bilt a masheen.
Frank, Frank, ternt the krank.
Joe, Joe, made her go.
Art, Art, ripped a fart an blu the whole dam thang apart.

Purty gud huh?

CLETUS


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Marion
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 11:20 PM

I used to love doing (voluntary) recitation - mostly poems with a strong rhythm and rhyme, like Robert Service, Poe, or Kipling. It was what I did at open mike/campfire type venues. But then somebody gave me a guitar and that was the end of recitation.

Stage fright IS a funny thing. I remember once when in the same day I recited the "Raven" and made an announcement in front of a group over about a meeting; I wasn't nervous at all about the poem, but I was very nervous about the announcement. I think it's something about being more confident in somebody else's words than in your own.

In grade 10 English we had to memorize a chunk of Julius Caesar (the play, not the man). We then had a choice: we could show our stuff by reciting it (just in our seats, not having to get up in front of the class) or by writing it down. Strictly speaking, the writing option was more demanding because then we were responsible for the punctuation as well as the words. But I was the only one in the whole class who chose to present it orally. This surprised the class and myself, since I was very quiet and shy and dreaded most oral presentations. But I wasn't even slightly nervous - Shakespeare's words, not mine. There's probably a lesson here.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: rabbitrunning
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 11:33 PM

I had to recite in high school (Omaha, Nebraska, '72-'76) and the required stuff was mostly Shakespeare or Walter De La Mare. But we could choose things too, and I was very pleased with myself when I got my "perfect" repertoire up to ten long poems by my senior year.

But I didn't mention my accomplishment to my grandmother or my father (she was born in 1896 and he was born in 1920.) They were both word perfect on poems THEY had learned in high school, and both knew lots more than ten.

Recently I found a book called "Committed to Memory" edited by John Hollander, and a lot of the poems I remember them quoting are in it. Too late to ask them which ones they knew, alas, but the memories are still in my head.

CD


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: KT
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 11:39 PM

Seventh grade...The Undelivered Letter, by Fulton Oursler. Had to recite it in front of the whole school. I walked out onto the stage, heart pounding...could have heard a pin drop, but for the ringing in my ears..It got worse and worse, then everything went dim yellow....Don't know how I got through it. My memory of it stops after the dim yellow light.......Maybe that's why I had such terrible stage fright for years...reciting or singing. Took a regular gig to learn to get over it.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Susan A-R
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 11:47 PM

I learned Father William, A. A. Milne's King John's Christmas (which is still said in our household every year) and would like to learn Lord Randall (with "punctuation.")

Several folks around here have started up Elocution nights. The first was run by the republican party, and moral message was required. Also couldn't go any later than 1933. There has been a competing night set up now without such guidlines. I've always wanted to go before the Republicans and do some Emma Goldman, William Morris, or Ranter stuff. Any suggestions? I'll go and do my bit next March if anyone gives me some truly stunning ideas.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Metchosin
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 11:49 PM

Loved it ! especially this one at age eleven, to the horror of my parents.

"And pretty nigh the crew all drowned
There were seventy-seven o soul
Till only ten
Of the Nancy's men
Said "Here" to the muster roll

There was me and the cook and the captain bold
And the mate of the Nancy's brig
And the bosun tight?
And the midship mate
And the crew of the Captain's gig

For a month we niether whittles? nor drinks
Til a hungry we did feel
Then we drew in a lot
And according shot
The Captain for our meal

The next lot fell to the Nancy's mate
And he much resembled a pig....etc.

You know I think it was called the Yarn of the Nancy Belle but I can't for the life of me remember who the poet was.....Anyone have any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Mbo
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 11:58 PM

Yes, it's "The Yarn of The Nancy Belle" by W.S. Gilbert. One of my sister's favorite poems!


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: KT
Date: 21 Sep 00 - 11:59 PM

Joe, a teacher I know has her class memorize and recite a poem every year. Some of them were really into it. It was a riot hearing a 9 year old with a very high little voice as she began.... "A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon!"


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:05 AM

and from a prone position the dentist's chair last week, when I had three of my front teeth filed away in preparation for a bridge, the dentist and his assistant were a litlle taken aback, when I suddenly blurted out from MacBeth:

Double double toil and trouble
Fire burn and cauldron bubble
When shall we three meet again
In thunder lightning and in rain
When the hurly burly's done
When the battle lost and won

(think I must have screwed this up a little) It was also hard to do with the freezing and the hole in my mouth where my teeth used to be...

And you are right MMario, you remember the ones that you chose to learn on you own, much better than the ones you had too.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:11 AM

Thank's Mbo! I'm also glad to hear there were other girls besides me who relished in

And I ups with his heels
And smothered his squeals
In the scum of the boiling broth!


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: ddw
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:20 AM

We had to learn lots of things for recitation — biblical passages (we're talkin' back in the dark ages when they still had Bible classes in public schools), poetry, Shakespeare, the above-mentioned run of rah-rah Americana.

Never a problem for me unless I stopped and though about what came next. I've always been able to just let my mind relax and memorized words just pour out.

Can't say I remember many of those things now, but I think that may be because it's been more than 40 years since I've had to and in the interim I've jammed in litearlly hundreds of songs I can sing without a hitch.

Hadn't really thought about incorporating recitation into performances, but it might be fun to give it a try.

david


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:25 AM

eeh, Mr. Gilbert certainly strayed far afield from Three Little Girls at School didn't he?


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: CamiSu
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:30 AM

In fifth grade, our teacher had the rep of being hard and mean. We memorised poems, (Road Not Taken, Stopping by Woods, O Captain, My Captain and on and on) learned to recognise maybe 200 pieces of music by their main themes, with composers and dates, and sometimes spent whole days doing reproductions of Old Masters in pastels. I decided that those who said he was so awful were just jealous. I still love the poems, paintings and music. Also he read us stories, and we wrote our own poetry. One of my classmates won the Walt Whitman poetry contest, which was open to anyone. The other 4 winners were all in HS or adults!

Then in HS we had to memorise soliloquoys from Shakespeare. Now I sit in awe as daughter Wavestar and her friends recite the first act from Romeo & Juliet (which she directed a year ago. But they weren't reciting their own parts! And Jessica knew them ALL!)

And Naemanson, I was going to bring a story to Derry. Is that OK?

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: CamiSu
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:38 AM

Oh and I forgot to ask, Kim, did you ever SING My Heart Leaps Up? Some kid set it to music when I was in HS ('72 I think) And Joe, I assume you've heard the musical setting to God's Trombones, no? It is quite wonderful. (a choral piece, can't remember, did Dawson do the music?)

Cami Su


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 12:51 AM

Naemanson, I can't remember if we were required to do recitation in elementary school, here in B.C., although I do seem to have memorized a number of poems from that time, but I do know, that starting in Grade 8 English, right through English 91 (for those who were majoring in Literature) it was required.


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:15 AM

Who can forget these? MMy teachers called them "purple passages."
Whan that Aprille, with hise shoures soote,
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour

(clique ye for more)

-and-

Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
Litora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
Vi superum, saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram.

Click for more

-and-

Bier her, Bier her
Oder ich fall um, juch he
Bier her, Bier her
Oder ich fall um.
Soll das Bier im Keller liegen
Und ich hier die Ohnmacht kriegen.
Bier her, Bier her
Oder ich fall um.
(Click for more)
If you can translate the last one, you'll know why that high school teacher was most popular.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Elise
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 01:26 AM

I've never been FORCED to recite anything...but I frequently annoy people by doing it anyway! It's one of the reasons I sing, I often memorize anything I've heard once or twice, whether I like it or not. I've got rhyming stuff rattling around in my head that even I don't like.

Anyone wanna challenge me to a limerick contest?


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:05 AM

Up with the sale of it
Down with the pail of it
Glorious, glorious beer!

I am ashamed to admit that I am the only female I know, who was booted out of a pub during Octoberfest in Munich, for being too drunk.


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Subject: ADD: An Overworked Elocutionist ^^
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 02:26 AM

Hey, Bill - look what I found here (click)!!!
-Joe Offer-

An Overworked Elocutionist
by Carolyn Wells (1869-1942)

Once there was a little boy whose name was Robert Reese;
And every Friday afternoon he had to speak a piece.
So many poems thus he learned, that soon he had a store
Of recitations in his head and still kept learning more.

And now this is what happened: He was called upon one week
And totally forgot the piece he was about to speak.
His brain he cudgeled. Not a word remained within his head!
And so he spoke at random, and this is what he said:

"My beautiful, my beautiful, who standest proudly by,
It was the schooner Hesperus--the breaking waves dashed high!
Why is this Forum crowded? What means this stir in Rome?
Under a spreading chestnut tree, there is no place like home!

When freedom from her mountain height cried, "Twinkle, little star,"
Shoot if you must this old gray head, King Henry of Navarre!
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue castled crag of Drachenfels,
My name is Norval, on the Grampain Hills, ring out, wild bells!

If you're waking, call me early, to be or not to be,
The curfew must not ring tonight! Oh, woodman, spare that tree!
Charge, Chester, charge! Oh, Stanley, on! and let who will be clever!
The boy stood on the burning deck, but I go on forever!"

His elocution was superb, his voice and gestures fine;
His schoolmates all applauded as he finished the last line.
"I see it doesn't matter," Robert thought, "what words I say,
So long as I declaim with oratorical display."

from The Best Loved Poems of the American People Hazel Felleman, 1936
JRO ^^


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Bugsy
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:09 AM

This was one of our elocution excercise:

To sit in solemn silence in a dull dark dock,
In a pestilencial prison with a life long lock.
Awaiting the sensation of a short sharp shock,
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big black block.

We first had to recite it aloud then then again in a whisper so that only the first and last consonants were audible.


Works quite well.

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Anyone here had to recite?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 03:35 AM

I used to learn poems that appealed to me when I was ... well, the earliest one I can date for certain was when I was 9, but I'd started before that. I still do monologues in folk clubs (or anywhere else, given half a chance).Humorous ones -- The Lion and Albert, or any of Billy Bennett's, for instance -- always go down well, but serious ones do too. Try The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God without sending it up: as a Poem it's pretty naff, but a a piece of story-telling it's terrific. Even Gunga Din -- especially Gunga Din! -- I usually "restore" the swear-words, depending where I am.

I've met a lot of folks who know hundreds of songs, but can't recite a single of of 'em if you ask for the words -- they soon give up and start singing to you. Any neurophysiologists out there got an explanation? You know many people with a stammer can sing with no trouble: that's because the two processes use separate pathways in the brain.

Steve


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