in tenth grade, our composition teacher made us memorize poetry. it's one of the few things he still remembers from high school to this day, he told us. then he proceeded to recite one of them. word for word.
i don't remember any of the poems we memorized. just the subject matter, vaguely. a walt whitman about the wall neighbors rebuild every spring between them, one about the assassination of president lincoln ("oh captain, my captain," i think it was), another about king ozymandius, the wiliam carlos williams one about the red wheelbarrow. see? famous poetry. i can't even remember the poets or the titles for most. i could google, but i don't.
at emo times in my life, i remember memorizing the poems (although not the poetry itself) and wish i still read poetry. concise, simple, powerful, evocative. the way i want the things i create to be.
too bad i am wordy and complicated.