Poetry Friday: Memories of Memorization

Though a number of my favorite homeschool or book blogs, such as Here in the Bonny Glen, and Through the Wardrobe,  do a Poetry Friday, I’m not really a participant.  However, science is on hiatus this week due to our prolonged flu (to return next week!) and with our production of The Tempest fast approaching I’m filled with memories about childhood drama, which for me is tied all up with poetry memorization as I often performed poetry in my youth to show off my acting skills.  So I present to you one of my most celebrated childhood performances, the poem “My Sister Betty” by Gareth Owen, with which I won great acclaim for doing a dramatic solo enactment in second grade at the school talent show.

My sister Betty said,
‘I’m going to be a famous actress,’
Last year she was going to be a missionary.
‘Famous actresses always look unhappy but beautiful,’
She said, pulling her mouth sideways
And making her eyes turn upwards
So they were mostly white.
‘Do I look unhappy but beautiful?’
‘I want to go to bed and read,’ I said.
‘Famous actresses suffer and have hysterics,’ she said.
‘I’ve been practising my hysterics.’
She began going very red and screaming
So that it hurt my ears.
She hit herself on the head with her fists
And rolled off my bed onto the lino.
I stood by the wardrobe where it was safer.
She got up saying, ‘Thank you, thank you,’
And bowed to the four corners of my bedroom.
‘Would you like an encore of hysterics?’ she said,
‘No,’ I said from inside the wardrobe.
There was fluff all over her vest.
‘If you don’t clap enthusiastically,’ she said,
‘I’ll put your light out when you’re reading.’
While I clapped a bit
She bowed and shouted, ‘More, more!’
Auntie Gladys shouted upstairs,
‘Go to bed and stop teasing Betty.’
‘The best thing about being a famous actress,’ Betty said,
‘Is that you get to die a lot.’
She fell to the floor with a crash
And lay there for an hour and a half
With her eyes staring at the ceiling.
She only went away when I said,
‘You really look like a famous actress
Who’s unhappy but beautiful.’

When I got into bed and started reading,
She came and switched off my light.
It’s not much fun
Having a famous actress for a sister.

3 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Memories of Memorization

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