I believe I was in Grade 1 at Lourdes School of Mandaluyong when I memorized my first long poem or verse. It was a competition piece as our section competed with others in our grade level. If my recall is correct, the contest was held at the old auditorium of the Grade School Building located at the top floor and above the administration offices facing Shaw Boulevard. At the time, there were no other large venues in school. The alternative, the Instructional Media Center (IMC) could fit only two sections at best. The St. Francis of Assisi Theater was to be built a few years later, where most big events organized by the school will eventually be held. The old auditorium would eventually be converted into classrooms.
We all had to memorize parts and not all of the poem. We were, however, required to know our cues for our parts so we practically tried to memorize each groups' parts in order for us to get our timing right. I'm not sure if our section won (I forget that part now.) but I assume we got our recognition that day. Here's our piece from '78 or '79 - a full 33 years ago.
Winken, Blinken and Nodby Eugene Field, 1850-1895.
found in the Oxford Book of Children's Verse.
Winken, Blinken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe --
Sailed off on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going, and what do you wish?"
The old moon asked the three.
"We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in the beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!"
The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them al night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in the beautiful sea --
"Now cast your nets wherever you wish --
Never afeard are we";
So cried the stars to the fisherman three:
All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam --
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe
Bringing the fisherman home;
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought 'twas a dream they'd dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea --
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Winken and Blinken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoes that sailed the skies
Is the wee one's trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked hte fisherman three: