STUDENT ON WORKING WITH POETRY FOR LIFE
"I have to admit, coming into today I did not expect much from this workshop. I work with the elderly on a daily basis due to my occupation, so I was expecting a group of senile, cranky, old people that I have to delight to work with everyday.
However, it was within the first few minutes that my outlook had completely changed. Upon entering the nursing home I recognized some people that I know either from my job or due to the fact that I live in a tiny town in rural Wisconsin.
I was especially moved by a woman named Dorothy, her Alzheimer’s is so significant she could not remember her name and she thought I was one of her grandchildren. At first she did not want to partake in any of the poetry activities.
But once we began to do the rhythmic poems by Emily Dickenson her face was filled with happiness and she gripped my hands with such force I almost had to retreat my hand. For me this showed the power that this project has.
This could have been a poem from her childhood which brought her great joy and it brought her pure elation. It was at this moment I was shown the absolute power poetry has over Alzheimer’s. For the rest of the session Dorothy held my hand softly, stroking it, smiling in bliss, and asked my to come back at the end of the session.
I am very blessed to have been part of this project and I will always remember the lessons taught during the session." Cody Tulip, Durand High School