Did any of you have braces? Do you remember those long visits sitting in the chair while they worked in your mouth? Maybe now people pass the time with earbuds, but earbuds were just barely starting to become a thing when I was in the orthodontist's chair. So I used to pass the time by reciting Tolkien verses in my head.
The Lord of the Rings is full of verses. I had memorized most of the ones in the first book, which definitely has the greatest number of them. The one about Amroth and Nimrodel was a favorite: its simple structure made it easy. Beren and Luthien was quite beautiful, though the stanzas were a bit more complicated. Earendil was rough. Four pages of long stanzas, plus more complicated words (I didn't even know how to pronounce habergeon, so that made it more difficult to memorize).
Now I just remember snatches, specific lines. And some of the shorter pieces, like the verses about the Ring. It makes me rather sad to know that I spent all that time memorizing and now have forgotten most of it--though I'm sure I would have a head start of familiarity of I did begin anew.
And you know, I rather miss it. My mind was young and eager that I would memorize words just for the fun of it. Maybe it's time I started stretching my mind again, whether it's to memorize Tolkien or other things, too. It would perhaps be nice in quiet, waiting moments to have some words to repeat in my head to pass the time.