People living with dementia can appear to live in their own world, a complicated, non-linear inner world not so easily communicated to, or understood by others. The London-based writer Susanna Howard is attempting to give people with dementia a voice by visiting with them and recording their words as poetry.
Susanna is artistic director of Living Words, an arts and literature program helping people with dementia feel understood and heard even when communication seems lost.
Check out the Living Words website here.
These are the poems that were featured in this segment, read by our amazing volunteers, Priscilla and John.
Number 65 – Blanche
This chair – it’s so dirty feeling
I’m not in running order
Where do you go to when you
I keep out of walking mode
With the mainframe
In the convoy – don’t go around much
Wish I could drive in a big car
Oh I, I wish, wish I could
Fly just fly right away
To number 65 – Not
Drifting along at nothing
Read by Priscilla
Comments on languages and words - Bob
Sometime you don’t feel on top of the world
You think I wish something like this or that happened
I could remember better
The whole life is a mystery
We can assume what we can assume
Will happen to us but we can’t
Force it to happen.
Every year that you are
Puts different words in to your mind
We are changing
For the worse or the better
Sometimes you don’t feel on top
The point is: when you are talking about one thing
Your mind is going in different directions
Yes, sometimes in conversation you use words
That weren’t intentional
But they fit.
We got to be a goldmine practically of words
Can stir something else up
Think, wish, remember
Read by John