Homeschooling Memorization: Full Fathom Five


The two older kids' memorization this week is Shakespeare's "Full Fathom Five", one of Ariel's songs from The Tempest. This has always been one of my absolute favorites. The first line is oh so strong because of both the alliteration and the cross-rhyme within the line itself (five, lies). "Full" and "fathom" are also particularly strong because of the short, rounded vowels. When I read the first line I feel as if the first half is standing on solid rock, while the second half is falling off, falling into the sea.

Yep, I love it.

Then at the very end to have the onomatopoeic thing happening with "ding-dong" - the first ding-dong being to the reader the actual sound, the second being Ariel saying the words "ding-dong". You can read them both differently, and by the time you get to the word "bell", its very name seems like the sound it makes. As in, what does a bell say? Bell says "bell", daddy.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that does fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Ding-dong,
Hark! Now I hear them -- Ding-dong, bell.


When The Tempest is performed this piece is usually sung.



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