16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Tuesday, March 5, 1912: I’m trying to commit that abominable piece of poetry to memory and it’s no easy task either, although it is short in the extreme. I only hope I know it, when the time comes to say it.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
What could the abominable poem have been? A hundred years ago people memorized recitations, poems, and Bible verses more than they do today.
Grandma generally did not complain about needing to memorize something. For example, one Sunday she memorized 27 Bible verses. This poem must have had some very difficult text (a dialect perhaps??).
The Poem of Quotes website provides information about lots of 18th and 19th century poets and poems. I browsed through it, but am not familiar enough with old poetry to even guess which poem Grandma was trying to memorize.