There has been talk in the media about how schoolchildren used to be made to learn poetry by heart. I know I was one of them and it seems I am not the only one who finds that some of those poems have stayed with me all my life. Here for instance is a poem from A E Housman's 'A Shropshire Lad', much loved and much recited.
LOVELIEST of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.