"The Tech Rep By James Michener; Continued:
"In my opinion, the most surprising fact about
Harvey Holt was his ability to quote poetry,
for he was not a literary man, nor even one
who bothered with the arts, yet in his
freshman year at Colorado Aggies a Professor
Carrington had asked during one of the first
meetings of English 101 how many students
could quote an entire poem, regardless of the
length. When only two hands went up, he
cried, DISGRACEFUL. POEMS ARE THE WORLD'S
REPOSITORY OF SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCE AND YOU
OUGHT TO KNOW SOME OF THEM. He then said
something which impressed Holt as being
profound, as if no man prior to Carrington
could have entertained such a thought:
MEMORIZE A POEM AND YOU OWN IT FOR LIFE.
Carrington then made this proposition to his
students: FOR EVERY FOURTEEN LINES OF POETRY
YOU MEMORIZE BEFORE MID-TERMS, I WILL GIVE
YOU FIVE EXTRA POINTS ON YOUR EXAMINATION.
WHY DO I NOMINATE FOURTEEN LINES AS THE
A smart girl who had gone to school in
Massachusetts said, BECAUSE THAT'S A SONNET.
Holt had not heard that word before.
SO THERE IT IS! YOU MEMORIZE TWENTY
SONNETS-AND NOT ONLY WILL YOUR GRADE BE ONE
HUNDRED, BUT YOU WILL BE IMMEASURABLY RICHER.
Holt captivated by this bold proposal, went
to Carrington's office that afternoon to ask
his advice on what to memorize, and
Carrington asked, LONG OR SHORT? and to his
own astonishment Holt replied, MAYBE
SOMETHING LONG, and Carrington said, FOR A
YOUNG MAN IN AN AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE, THERE
ARE ONLY THREE TO CONSIDER and he laid them
out: Mathew Arnold's THE SCHOLAR-GYPSY,
Oliver Goldsmith's THE DESERTED VILLAGE and
Thomas Gray's ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNT
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