New Ideas for the Memory Binder (Part I)

Published on Sunday, April 05, 2009 in , , , , , , , ,

BrainNote: If you like the idea of the Memory Binder, I discuss other ideas for it in Memory Feat Props, Memory Feat Props II and in New Ideas for the Memory Binder (Part II, Part III, Part IV).

I first mentioned the Memory Binder last November, but only mentioned 2 ideas with it. It's time to explore some other ideas with this great tool.

The main idea I'll discuss in this post is to have a poetry section in the Memory Binder. Once you've memorized your favorite poems, as I talk about in my Memorizing Poetry post, you could have someone choose any poem from the section, and listen to you recite it. Productivity 501's article and tool for memorizing verbatim text can be a great help here. Once you've practiced the poem itself, you also need to practice making the recitation itself enjoyable for the audience.

The poems in my own Memory Binder include Casey At The Bat, Jabberwocky, If and others. The poems you choose should fit your personality and style, and should be ones you enjoy, since you'll be spending so much time internalizing them.

If you're using the binder for the Day for any Date feat, as discussed in the first Memory Binder article, one poem that can add an interesting touch to the feat is the classic Mother Goose rhyme Monday's Child. I used to use the original version, but now use this modified version to avoid the all-too-frequent tangential discussions that resulted from the use of the terms “gay” and/or “Sabbath day”:

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,

Wednesday's child is full of woe,

Thursday's child has far to go,

Friday's child is loving and giving,

Saturday's child must work for a living,

But the child that's born upon Sunday

Is fair and wise and good they say.
Once someone has given you the date, and looked up on which day it falls, you can ask them to turn to this poem, and describe the characteristics they supposedly have, based on the weekday of their birth. Saying, “You must be full of grace!” is more interesting and lively than simply stating, “You were born on a Tuesday. ”

You can also mix poetry with your memorization of Pi! There are many Pi-related poems that could be used here, and you can explain their mnemonic use, as well as recite them! Of course, if you want a poem and Pi challenge, try the lengthy Near A Raven, or the awe-inspiring Cadaeic Cadenza (of which Near A Raven is only a small part)! I wouldn't seriously expect any audience to sit still for work of these lengths, however.

One poem that deserves special mention here is David Shulman's Washington Crossing The Delaware . The fact that every line is an anagram of the title can add some punch to your presentation.

No, poetry memorization isn't the only additional idea I have for the Memory Binder. In Thursday's post, I'll continue with even more ideas!

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