Tuesday, March 17, 2020

From Memory and By Heart

From Memory and By Heart From Memory and By Heart From Memory and By Heart By Maeve Maddox A headline on the National Public Radio (NPR) site prompted this post: A Self-Taught Artist Paints the Rain Forest By Memory The more common idiom for doing something that is recalled and not seen is to do it â€Å"from memory.† From is more appropriate than by in this idiom because memory may be regarded as a receptacle and not as an agent. For example: Painting from memory can be just as productive as painting from sight. If youve ever repeated a rhyming poem from  memory  in front of an audience, youve given a  recitation. Pewsey clergyman Canon Gerald Osborne is to perform a remarkable feat of faith and memory by reciting in public the whole of Mark’s Gospel from memory. George Doi, a nisei,  reconstructed  the  map from memory  in March 1993. The process of committing something to memory for later recall is â€Å"to learn it by heart.† Learning texts by heart once held a more valued place in the elementary and high school curriculum than it does now. When I was a child, school children were encouraged to memorize poems like Longfellow’s â€Å"Paul Revere’s Ride† and speeches like Lincoln’s â€Å"Gettysburg Address.† In her 90s, my mother could still recite poems she learned as a child in the Chicago public schools. Visiting a family in France one summer, I was treated to the experience of hearing members of three generations recite a tale of Fontaine- in unison and with great mutual pride. Poems learned â€Å"by heart† in childhood enrich the rest of life. Here are some examples of the idiom â€Å"by heart†: Learning poetry by heart ignites the imagination- Andrew Motion. Miss Allan  encouraged us to learn poetry by heart, for which I am everlastingly grateful now that I am registered as blind and still have memories of some of the  loveliest poems ever written. In  Poems to Learn by Heart,  Kennedy stresses the importance of memorizing poetry and presents a collection of poems that she believes everyone should internalize. [David Cameron] said his youngest daughter Florence was so obsessed with the movie [Frozen] that he found he’d learned it off by heart. Note: Learning â€Å"by heart† is not the same thing as learning â€Å"by rote.† Rote learning is more or less mindless. Learning a poem one neither likes nor understands for the sake of reciting it one time for a grade is a pointless exercise. Learning a poem or a speech â€Å"by heart,† on the other hand, is a process that engages the mind and the emotions. Bottom line: We recite from memory what we have learned by heart. Want to improve your English in five minutes a day? Get a subscription and start receiving our writing tips and exercises daily! Keep learning! Browse the Expressions category, check our popular posts, or choose a related post below:Good At, Good In, and Good WithIn Search of a 4-Dot EllipsisThe Difference Between "Shade" and "Shadow"

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