Yesterday, I came across an article by Melik Kaylan entitled “For the Love of Poetry”, https://www.forbes.com/2009/04/06/memorize-poetry-education-opinions-columnists-thomas-hardy.html.
Kaylan offers a spirited defence of traditional (rhyming) poetry, and of the benefits flowing from memorising it.
I vividly recollect learning Alfred Noyes’s poem “The Highwayman as a child, and reciting it to an audience, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43187/the-highwayman. Noyes’s poem has a wonderful rhythm and I can still recall large chunks of “The Highwayman”.
I believe that being introduced to relatively simple (rhyming) poetry as a young boy kindled in me my love of the art. Had I been faced with free verse poetry at the same age, I am not sure that my love of poetry would have developed as it has.
There is (as I’ve said here before) much great free verse poetry. However my personal preference is for poetry that rhymes, or has some kind of meter to it. I also remain a traditionalist in that I agree with Kaylan as regards the benefits of memorising poetry.
As always, I would be interested in the views of my readers.