146. Memorabilia: Robert Browning

My eighth grade students don’t remember anything. They kind of have fond memories of a few videos they can’t quite recall the names of. And that book… (“The Giver?”, I ask, and they reply, “Yeah, that one.”). “Did you want that in final draft?” they ask, even though that’s been my policy for the two years they’ve been with me.

They forget their last name on paper. At this time of year, do they remember their last names? Or how to sit in a chair.

Robert Browning

AH, did you once see Shelley plain,
And did he stop and speak to you,
And did you speak to him again?
How strange it seems and new!

But you were living before that,
And also you are living after;
And the memory I started at—
My starting moves your laughter!

I crossed a moor, with a name of its own
And a certain use in the world no doubt,
Yet a hand’s-breadth of it shines alone
’Mid the blank miles round about:

For there I picked up on the heather
And there I put inside my breast
A moulted feather, an eagle-feather!
Well, I forget the rest.


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