“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
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