By Rote

As a child I learned a lot by rote, mostly poems, but they have all vanished with the years. Now I have trouble remembering the list of what I need to do today …



does it matter that I don’t hold
the words of Cicero                                                          img_0219-2-14-17-blog
Shakespeare or Shelley in my head?

that I’ve forgotten every poem
I’ve ever learned?

that I can’t remember a joke
or can’t tell it
so that the punch line punches?

is it a problem that I can’t recite
my own poems or hold a tune
in my head or my mouth for longer
than it takes to breathe a sigh?

does anything learned by rote
whether grocery lists or old hymns
dissipate into the vast
knowledge of the universe?


Frame and the McGuireFrame and The McGuire – ‘… a gentle yet striking novel about the way our perception influences our judgement of others.’ Amy Mathers. For ages 8-13 … published by Tradewind Books available on Amazon or your local bookstore.

About Joanna M. Weston

Born in England, she lives in British Columbia. She is married with three sons, Joanna has an MA from the University of British Columbia. She has published in numerous anthologies and in magazines in Canada, the US, UK, and New Zealand, such as Canadian Women's Studies, Convolvus, Endless Mountains Review, Grain, Green's Magazine, Prairie Fire, Spin, Wascana Review, CBC Gallery, and many more...
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