“We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” Cesare Pavese


Restoring the Labyrinth of Memory
The past few days had me thinking a lot on the subject of memory and how significant it is to each of us. Where would we be without our memories? Those ethereal things that make us what we are and punctuate every moment of our lives! Fragmentary, yet whole; drifting through the cells of our brain giving us the raw material to think, talk, and write!
While many of us carry on with our labour of love, namely writing poetry, we often fail to perceive the true value of this art form and how it is being utilized for practical purposes. Poetry reading is used as an innovative treatment option for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, with research showing how poetry acts as a great medium for memory impaired patients to express their memories in a loving environment. In medical terminology, poetry often proves to be a ‘positive intervention’ that enables these patients to connect with their selves. What is most important is how the act of reading poetry in a group serves to establish a connection among the patients as well as with their own selves. The concept of sharing and caring latent in any poetry reading group is therefore of great value.
Poetry readings are akin to music therapy, which is already popularly used to treat dementia. Whether music or poetry, the point is how the words and rhythm can bring back the lost strands of memory, eliciting some kind of emotion and enabling that vital connection to the self and society. If poetry and poetry readings can be curative, or at least provide a sense of healing and caring, what can be more gratifying for a poet?
We are on time with this issue of Kritya. Enjoy the poems of Ataol Behramoglu in Editor’s Choice this time. We have Pir Meher Ali Shah in our segment on Our Masters and some beautiful poems by our contemporary poets in Poetry in Our Time. The artist we project in this issue Akram Varraich. Do send us your feedback.

Jayasree Ramakrishnan Nair

 

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