How does this story tie into my choice for reading this book this week? Well - the first poem that we had to memorize was ROBERT FROST's "Fire and Ice". I still remember this poem, some 27 years later. I am going to write it out for you - and of course there is no way of knowing whether I copied this from a book or not - but I didn't! If you know me - call me and ask for an impromptu recitation.
Fire and Ice - Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire
some say in ice
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those that favor fire
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
is also great
And would suffice
At 12 years old I had a vague idea what I was reciting, but it was later revealed to me as an adult, that Mr. Reichert was not so concerned about us knowing the meaning of what we were reciting. He wanted us to face our fears and get up in front of people with confidence. He wanted us to take this skill with us as we grew up and went to high school and college and our future careers. He felt that making us get up in front of our generally rude peers (God help you if you forgot or stumbled - we were merciless) would give us the skills to face anyone and anything. I have to say that he was right, at least for me, he was. I can comfortably speak in front of a crowd with little to no prep, because - the people in the audience can never be as horrible as we 6th graders were!
Of course this book of poems has all of Mr. Frost's poems both obscure and well known - I decided to speak about this one since it holds so much meaning to me. Maybe there is a special one for you in this collection. Check it out.