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Sir Andrew Motion’s Poem Memorization Competition

By Harriet Staff

Remember when you used to memorize poems in school. Of course you don’t! That’s because you didn’t have Sir Andrew Motion showing you how it’s done. From The Telegraph:

Teenagers will be encouraged to learn poems off by heart for a new schools competition backed by former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion, the Department for Education announced today.

Just weeks after Education Secretary Michael Gove accused inventor Sir James Dyson of an “anti-intellectual bias” for criticising teenagers who chose to study French lesbian poetry at university, the “Poetry by Heart” competition – which will be run by the Poetry Archive – is being granted £500,000 of Government funding.

Thousands of 14 to 18-year-olds in England are expected to take part in the new national poetry recitation competition next year.

Students will be asked to memorise and perform a poem from a range selected for the competition. Among the works are Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold, Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley and Shakespeare’s clown song from Twelfth Night.

Sir Andrew Motion said: “Poetry by Heart is the best thing that’s happened for poetry in schools for a long time: a way for pupils to have serious fun while they extend their reading, deepen their powers of appreciation, and memorise beautiful and intriguing poems which will enrich their lives for ever.”

Posted in Poetry News on Monday, December 10th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.