I have been carrying around the poem for the last few days copied neatly onto a 5″ x 3″ Correspondence Card, the card starting to feel intimately used as well as useful, on its way to disintegration through repeated folding.
I mainly work on memorizing whilst walking. I’ve even tried taking a step per word, envisaging the sentences cleaving to the rhythms of my body, the walk becoming the poem becoming the walk. I’m not sure if the poem might be drummed or marched into me like this, but I’m giving it a go.
Embodying the words is key. I need to get to the point where I can recite it as naturally and “automatically” as I might the days of the week, or the months of the year. The rhythms need to sink in, sync with breathing, so that the poem becomes a way of focusing and potentially stilling the mind through language for a minute or two, rather than just an anxiety-producing sequence of memory-potholes.
On a train from Mill Hill Broadway, travelling north in search of a walk, I sit opposite a young family. The father has his child resting against the beat of his heart. I watch the tympanic petting of his fingers on the infant’s back. They are clearly both soothed by this interaction.
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice.
This is where the conversation begins.