Mnemonic poetry and Guy Fawkes night
I walked home past several people setting off sparklers and fireworks in the meadows. In Edinburgh celebrations of Guy Fawkes night are not elaborate, but you can smell the gunpowder.
A good thing, because otherwise I can never remember what night it is. The traditional rhyme
Remember, remember, the fifth of November
is about the worst possible mnemonic that I could think of. It fits the meter just as well to say
Remember, remember, the FOURTH of November
but you aren’t meant to remember that one. Personally I prefer
Remember, remember, the ninth of November,
because that happens also to be my birthday.
Much more sensible to base the rhyme on the part that’s easiest to confuse. Instead, how about:
Let the memory survive That the king was still alive On November five.
Now you won’t forget.