This is a rare commercial plug, but it’s for a good cause I believe in: Poetry.
Penguin, publisher of all those “classics” you may or may not have read in high school, has a new Apple device app designed to help make the chore of poetry memorization into a game.
Do students still get assigned to memorize poetry any more? If so, Penguin’s free Poems by Heart app, available here, is a simple little game that prompts you word by word, line by line, with recordings of famous poems. You can choose to hear the poems in either a male or female voice.
It’s fun, but be warned: the freebies are limited. It comes with two free poems – “Eternity” by William Blake and the Shakespeare sonnet, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Penguin wants you to buy more. Poems are sold in 99-cent bundles on a theme (e.g. Love, with poems by both Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning.) You can also shop by poet.
Of course, enterprising students can always find timeless out-of-copyright works (at least in printed form, if not spoken) online for free. But this app does add a bit of entertainment value.
Finally, I was a little disappointed to hear Shakespeare’s ode to lifelong love read without a romantic Brit accent. But one must suffer for art, right?