Book Rec, going back to Reading Styles

Ven ven at
Sat Dec 8 11:45:48 EST 2001

Rebecca wrote

 >I am an extremely visual reader, but I memorize poetry quite quickly, and
> >often from just having read a poem once or twice.  I'm not quite sure
> >why, or how, but I can think back to the imagery each piece gave me, and
> >it flows and if even a word is reversed then the scene goes too fast or
> >slow.
> That's so interesting.  I can't even imagine how it might feel, but 
> find it fascinating.  Does it make any difference at all whether 
> you've heard the poem read or say it aloud or just see it on the page?

I do think of myself as a visual person some respects, I have a 
good memory for places I've been, and colours, and I'm good at 
finding small lost objects (very useful in archaeology). In exams I 
tended to visualise the relevant page of my notes -- to facilitate this 
I used coloured pens and permitted myself the odd doodle on my 
revision notes. However I was never alll that good at memorising 
poetry. The thing is that when people talk about "seeing or 
visualising" what they read I'm never sure if they are describing 
what i do or something more intense. It reminds me of Cat trying to 
use witch sight. Any image that I have is elusive, it can't be pinned 
down or looked at head on. I get other sensory impressions from 
books -- I have a very strong feeling of the mud paths in Hexwood, 
after the sun has come out I "know" how that surface would feel to 
walk on.  

> How much do people have to learn poetry in school/uni. then?  Not 
> that I'm assuming people only learn poetry when forced to, just that I was
> wondering about English exams and how common it is to be expected to learn
> poetry.

Learning poetry was a common homework when I was at schooI, 
for the most part I only remember scraps (I think I might have doen 
better if I had known more about memory tricks). In exams you 
were expected to be able to quote from poems and plays to 
support your essays. I spent the night befroe the A level 
Shakespeare paper reading the relevant quotes from King Lear to 
my cat. (that's relevant as in likely to be useful in an exam). 

The truth will make ye fret

Terry Pratchett, The Truth.
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