Thursday, 3 July 2014

you can have my teeth

Making Memories, Gallery Oldham

Reet and Doreen, working on concrete teeth poem

Sometimes we'll try a word association game to kick start a poem. Playing takes pressure off, asking questions like 'What's the first thing that comes to mind?' dodges people's fear of not being able to remember.  Avoiding approaches that make a closed success/failure outcome is a good policy. There's no right or wrong if the whole thing is done in the spirit of play and a joke. Word association  can bring a great focus because it's so immediate. Not so long sentences or circuitous openers or complex questions. Our group of people with dementias were fully engaged – leaning in concentrating, waiting on the next word...

Here's some of the lines that arose in response to the word association list for Dentists. They make a funny, loose little poem:

you can have my teeth

they're falling out all the time

falling fairies

baby teeth

under the carpet

under the rug

put salt with em

otherwise the fairy can't

leave sixpence

a farthing

a threpenny, don't spend it all at once

screw it in permanent

collecting coins for a mouthful

a farthing a wren

a sixpence a tanner

the old bob with the old king on it shiny

to pay the dentist

(group poem, extract)
8 March 2013

For more information about the Making Memories Project please visit arthur-and-martha.blogspot

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