By Heart

You’re asked to recite a poem (or song lyrics) from memory — what’s the first one that comes to mind? Does it have a special meaning, or is there another reason it has stayed, intact, in your mind?

From the first time I heard it, this stuck in my memory and has never left. That’s probably more than 40 years. I think the reasons why it stuck should be obvious. If they aren’t, let me suggest you read (among others) Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.” If that doesn’t do it, let me know and I’ll give you a reading list.