To Feel How Words Move, Memorize a Poem

and recite it while running

Cases of COVID-19 have begun surfacing in Minnesota and you made the mistake of reading a twitter thread about symptoms and difficulty breathing and ventilators while you have a cold or allergies or something that is making your throat tighten and breathing difficult. You want to feel something other than scared.

ONE || PICK A POEM.

TWO || MEMORIZE IT.

THREE || RECITE IT WHILE RUNNING.

STEP FOUR || TAKE NOTES.

  • Pay attention to how the words do or don’t match up with your cadence. If you are trying to sync it up with your steps and breathing, how does this affect the poem–it’s meaning? how it sounds? how it moves (or doesn’t move)?
  • Think about the lines and what they mean–in the context of the poem, to you.
  • Focus in on lines/words that you stumble over, think about why that happens. Is the line different than you expect? Is the author intentionally disrupting the flow?
  • After your run, take some notes about the experience of reciting while running. What effects did reciting have on your running? Running on your reciting?

Variation: Memorize a Series of Poems based on a theme