Everybody’s talking at me
This article discusses the uses of poetic writing within health contexts and poetry as a potent form which enables the individual to give voice to personal feelings and experiences.
It considers why someone marginalised by health or circumstance might benefit from such an opportunity and argues that practitioners should listen to particularities of speech and view every word as important. I examine poetry within dementia care as an area of interest and dementing language as an expressive insight into the condition and include extracts of poetry created collaboratively with participants.
I spend all my time these days Dreaming. Dreaming,
Not for any reason or decision. It is not meditation,
That involves something deeper. I drift through thoughts.
James Solar with Karen Hayes
In our society words, more than any other medium of communication, are used to establish who we are. We fill in forms and answer questions, follow instructions, appeal for justice, digest information and offer explanations. We are a society which has been built on the power of words and, over the centuries since the invention of the printing press, specifically the written word. We believe in the word and although we may have a reasonable grasp of the power of propaganda or even of falsehood, mostly we believe what we read.