One Bright Day

One bright day in the middle of the night

Two dead boys got up to fight

Back to back they faced each other

Drew their swords and shot each other

A deaf policeman heard the noise

Came out and shot the two dead boys

If you do not believe this lie is true

Ask the blind man, he saw it, too.

Still thinking about memories, and how odd it is what your brain decides to remember. I was 6 years old, and my sister read this poem to me from her school work. I was enchanted with it and its contradictions, and decided to memorize it. I did, so well that 49 years later it is still engraved in my memory.

I’ve memorized lots of things. Yet this poem, and my childhood phone number are about all that’s left. Maybe a few bible verses. I’ve never considered myself good at memorizing. Hell, I never even memorized the “times table,” which was very important back then, and we were seriously tested on it. (I figured out the algorithm, and then just calculated answers when needed. ). Yet here is this poem. I’d love to know what my 6 year old self did to permanently engrave this memory.

I just googled it, and apparently this poem is old, very very old, with many different versions around. Some are much longer, but many concentrate just on the section I know. Many people say they learned it when they were young. Perhaps it wasn’t something special I did. Perhaps it’s something special about the poem.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it.

Published by JoAnne

Homebody extraordinaire

6 thoughts on “One Bright Day

  1. If I have any learning disability it is rote memory. I too had trouble with the times table and in Korea I had to stay after school a lot to learn it. I still use the calculator sometimes! I can not remember pin numbers and it took 4 years of constantly using my SSN to learn that. I do know my husband’s cell number and my own but I do not remember anyone else’s as I have it saved. I am impressed you can recite a poem from memory. This was a great blog. Thank you!

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  2. I seem to remember mostly song lyrics, trivia and facts on health and nutrition. Before cell phones, I used to remember lots of phone numbers and addresses. I don’t bother anymore, since those are easily accessed. I find that as I get older the information is still there, but I can’t access my memory quite as fast as I used to.

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  3. 305 683 6205. I even accidentally dialed it one time when calling another number. It was disconnected. That was a long time ago when 305 covered most of South Florida. Today 305 covers Miami.

    The times table sucked. I eventually finally started to remember it not by rote, but by exposure. I also have favorite multiplication combinations. 3 x 7 = 21, divine. 5 x anything, comforting. 12 x 12, wonder, could numbers get any bigger?

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  4. My memory keeps getting worse. But I guess that is to be expected as I near in on 60. When young I had a superb memory. I always won anything that required memory. In kindergarten, I won the coveted white bible instead of the regular black cover one because I memorized every bible verse assigned. I still have the record of it with the stars next to the verses.

    I loved teachers who tested straight from their lectures. So easy to listen, memorize and regurgitate it on tests. And professors who tested straight from the book….awesome! I read very slowly, but remember it all and never feel I need to reread it again. Kind of makes me wonder why I choose math. Maybe it was to be challenged by something not requiring memorization. Except the times tables. Piece of cake.

    I know I have more memories of our youth than JoAnne. But I know there are so many I don’t recall anymore. That is frustrating, so I must be really frustrating to not remember much at all.
    I was fun to recite the backwards poem with you on Zoom Thursday night.

    My MIL is in the middle stages of dementia. She used to be an RN and is currently in a nursing home where she used to be the director of nurses. Her short term memory is toast. But her long term seems fairly good. Unfortunately she does seem to have difficulty with time. She has certainly pissed off the staff there by telling them how to do things and when they don’t do it to her liking. Her bossiness has them avoiding her. She forgets she is not mobile and threatens them as though she could get up and get them fired! Sad, and yet funny.

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