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Heart BeatsEveryday Life and the Memorized Poem$
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Catherine Robson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691119366

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691119366.001.0001

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(p.219) Afterword
Heart Beats

Catherine Robson

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter focuses upon two works that were written during recitation's heyday and that currently hold preeminent status both as, and among, memorized poems in popular culture on both sides of the Atlantic. Positioning W. E. Henley's “Invictus” (1888) as an American national favorite and Rudyard Kipling's “If –” (1910) as a British poem of poems, the chapter conducts a consciously allegorical reading to orchestrate a return to the topic raised in the introduction. The memory of mass juvenile recitation arouses very different feelings in the United States and Great Britain. To close the book, the chapter considers in what ways this might be connected to how individuals in these two countries regard not only their nation's educational past, but also their relationships with poetry, with society, and with themselves.

Keywords:   memorized poems, W. E. Henley, Invictus, Rudyard Kipling, If –, mass recitation, educational past, poetry

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