Using the example extract of the first stanza:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”
  1. Identify a word or phrase from every line that stands out for you (try to pick a noun, or in this case some part of the internal rhyme). I have chosen:
    midnight dreary
    quaint and curious
    nearly napping
    gently rapping
    ‘Tis some visitor
    nothing more
  2. Assign each word or phrase to a finger – tap it as you recite the word or phrase
  3. Write a list to help you memorise the word or phrase (as above)
  4. Begin to memorise – by reading an item from the list, whilst tapping the associated finger,
    • Repeat this over and over
    • Add the next item on the list to your recital, and move to the next tapping finger
    • Try to not look at the list
    • Expand your memorising to the next item and the next item, until you think you can recite them fairly well – if you mess up or forget, don’t worry, give yourself some time before trying to look back at the list


  5. Add a physical movement or gesture that represents or you can associate with the word(s)
  6. Once you have the order and the words memorised and can recite them easily, now repeat the process, but build yourself up to reciting the entire line, using the same method (this is where rote learning comes in, but you should find it easier now that you have memorised the hooks).