Sunday, January 14 2024

I agree with Katherine Rundell when she says that ‘even if you memorize poetry that you don’t understand, there will be a time in your life when it will come back for you’. Poetry and verse is beautiful 1.

To help me memorise poetry I made a tiny CLI app called Mnemo. Mnemosyne is the Greek goddess of memory 2. It takes your terminal into raw mode and I’ve done my best to handle all the things your terminal normally would, like Ctrl+C.

I use Mnemo as a first pass and then I enter the text into Anki using LPCG cards to ensure long-term retention. I hope this tool helps you too.

For beautiful poetry, the blog Thinking Complete lists 25 poems split into sections of love, death and loss, and happiness, find it here.

The code is a wonderful spaghetti-mess. I got very confused about managing the state of the standard output and coordinating that with managing the text. I clearly need to re-read A Philosophy of Software Design, and in the meantime I think this repo would make fantastic refactoring-practice.

  1. And sometimes abused: I once asked a friend of mine why they loved their partner, to which my friend recited some lines from Romeo and Juliet. Unsatisfied I argued that this was a ‘how’ and not a ‘why’. To which they replied ‘why does the sun rise?’. ↩︎

  2. And incidentally, my favourite autobiography by Nabokov ‘Speak, Memory’ was almost titled ‘Speak, Mnemosyne’. I also believe the former is the best book title ever. ↩︎