Poetry and Dementia

Welcome to our 2022 series of workshops with Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, aimed at members of the Living Well community.

We are very pleased to run the first of two sessions guided by topics of interest for our participants. This week you have chosen the theme of dementia, something we’ve previously touched on in workshops on remembering, memory, time, and living “in the moment”.

This morning we will:

Hear some poetry which might help us to think about dementia from a range of perspectives.
Discuss how the authors express their ideas and feelings.
Talk reflectively together, share our perspectives and favourites, and how these poems can give us a new insight into dementia.

The Poems

  1. ‘One Art’, by Elizabeth Bishop 
  2.  ‘Losing Solomon’, by Sean Nevin 
  3. Extract from ‘A Bed above the Abyss: Amnesiac Notebook‘, by Andrew Allport

Further Reading

You may like to have a look at Words for our selection of poetry and prose on the theme of death and dying.

We found a number of online resources linking to songs about dementia from the viewpoint of both individuals with dementia and their families and loved ones: 15 Famous Songs About Dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Finally you may be interested to look at the work of Dementia Compass, a Cambridge-based Social Enterprise which works to provide enriching lifelong learning experiences for cognitive impairment, often through arts and culture, and in collaboration with the many Cambridge museums and galleries.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and learn from your insights and experiences. Feel free to speak to the nursing team or get in touch with us directly cambridgegooddeath@gmail.com.

Posted: 5th July 2022