Poetic Pals

Poetic Pals is a program I developed in long-term care, as an emotional, intellectual and social needs based activity. It began with a conversation and identifying a longing for poetry itself. This longing was revealed through conversation and taking the time to listen. Poetry ignited the home. Monthly calendars displayed a poem of the month written by different residents and collectively as a group. Poetry was used as a coping mechanism to help with loss and mourning. Residents that were physically immobile suddenly were mobilized in thought. Excitement, hope, passion, creativity and stories of nostalgia brought out a tight knit group of residents over a year’s time. Poetry formed the foundation, a community for the residents to relate and be activated in thought. 

"Smell the Roses (Written as a response to another resident's poem) by Poetic Pal, M. W 

In the month of August I read your poem

With interest then and even more now, months later.

The poem was about a dream that felt real, an experience of the senses.

I want to share with you my experience of sense while I lay in bed, it’s not a dream, although I wish it were.

Do you know what it’s like, when you’re not able to smell the roses?

You see, I have no sense of smell. At times it’s quite embarrassing.

Try to imagine what it’s like.

I can’t smell the roses,

I can’t smell the lilacs,

I can’t tell you how many pots of brussell sprouts I’ve burned!

Dear poet that describes scent, I wish this...

Will you be my friend and my nose?"