I decided, at the beginning of the year when I was young and foolish, that it would be a good idea to memorize poetry along with my kids. Still a good idea in theory. But in reality it looks like me cramming the night before, just like me students…
Anyways, I’m memorizing the Donne sonnet because it’s one of my favorite poems. And The Waste Land because it’s another favorite poem and I’ll get to recite in Latin, French, Italian, and Sanskrit. Here’s “Holy Sonnet XIV”!
Holy Sonnet XIV
Batter my heart, three-personed God; for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurped town, to another due,
Labor to admit you, but O, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captived, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved fain,
But am betrothed unto your enemy.
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again;
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor even chaste, except you ravish me.