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Monday, March 16, 2015

Everything worthwhile I know I learned by heart

Every week there's a story on the news agenda which is so stupid you just know it's not worth finding out about. Last week there was something about a kitchen. Don't go any further. I don't wish to know.

This week there are poets arguing about the value of kids learning things by heart. I'm sure poets aren't stupid enough to say that this is ever a bad idea. I'm equally sure there are hacks capable or twisting their words to make it look as though they did. And I'm certain the BBC will have staged one of those sham debates where somebody who's in favour of fresh air has been put up against somebody who thinks it's bad for you.

I took a little notice of this because recently I've tried to teach myself to learn a few bits of Shakespeare off by heart. I used to be able to do this when I was young and I was interested to see if I still could, particularly now that Google's causing my mental muscles to atrophy.

I also did it as an alternative to reading while on the tube or listening to music while out walking. I'm enjoying the process. I'll be the one sitting opposite you staring into space with lips barely moving, stopping occasionally to check the lines on my phone.

Everything worthwhile I know I learned by heart.