Beth Ann Fennelly suggests that to fully embrace the beauty of poetry, one must memorize it. Once committed to memory — a process that gets easier with practice — a poem forever becomes prophylactic against stressful days and lonely times: “We’ve all known solitary confinement. We’ve all inhabited isolation rooms. But the poems we know by heart can visit us there. They arrive as layer cakes, with files baked in.”
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.