Nothing is permanent under the sky. That is why there is no need to cherish luxuries because everything comes and goes. Even the life that you have is borrowed as you are not promised tomorrow. The best that you can do is hold on to what God gave you; the gift of life. The real luxury and wealth are not in the form of fancy houses, extravagant lifestyles or fast cars but good health and the love of friends and family. A wise man once said that you are not rich until you have something that money cannot buy. Money is an important commodity and instrument of trade whose value is imperative. However, in the present day world, people are giving too much priority to money to the point of worshipping it. They forget all the important things in life and spend the better part of their days looking for money. Some even go to the extent of risking their health and lives in the name of working.
Good health is timeless and priceless. Not once will it ever go out of style and if you have nothing in life but good health and the love of your family and friends, then you are richer and far ahead than most people. It is for this reason that you should always be thankful for life and whisper thank you to God every morning to that effect. People are quick to tell God their problems and the needs that they wish fulfilled and forget that being alive and in good health is the greatest gift of all. This paper is going to analyze two poems about Alzheimers disease namely:
1. Alzheimers by Kelly Cherry
2. Alzheimers Poem: I am Still a Person.
Starting with the first poem, Alzheimer by Kelly Cherry, she introduces us to the disease and the effects it has on the sick and the affected people. One of the most comprehensive poems on the subject of Alzheimer is by Kelly Cherry, In this simple piece, she can clearly identify through personal experience the extent of the effects that persons with this disease go through. Cherry explains that the disorientation affords him the ability to understand the need to go home and in the process, he remembers how his house used to look like after the rain including the doorway he built. The old man is nostalgic about the freedoms that he enjoyed as a youth that he is not able to enjoy anymore because of old age and the Alzheimers disease. From this poem, Kelly portrays how this disease has made this mans life meaningless and hopeless. In the second sentence through the fifth, Kelly shows us how empty the life of this man is.
Back from the hospital, his mind rattling like the suitcase, swinging from his hand that contains shaving cream, a piggy bank, a book he sometimes pretends to read, his clothes. (2-5)
Cherry uses these lines in her poem to depict the miserable, lonely and boring life that the old man leads after acquiring the condition. Alzheimer is a progressive disease that worsens with age. The shaving cream was probably used to shave his weak hair that had been messed since he developed the condition. Cherry tells us that the old man carried a book that he sometimes pretended to read. This is suggestive of boredom and loneliness. In most cases, people look up for activities to occupy them even if they are clearly not into them. I believe that if the old man had enough people to keep him company during his sickness, he would not have resorted to feigning hobbies such as reading books.
The old man is also keen to notice the way the sun hardens his house while striking the iron grillwork making sparks fly off to the nearby rose bushes. These are minor yet fine details that have no significance whatsoever, but due to the much free time on his hands that he gets to spend alone, he can afford to notice. A feeling of nostalgia hits him hard when he remembers the good old days when he was young, spirited and full of life before this disease came to drain it all away. He cannot afford the simple life pleasures such as music which is known to be soul medicine as other things are now occupying much of his time. Alzheimer disease affects the brains nerve cells which are connected to form communication networks and make the brain fully functional. These nerve cells are categorized into groups, and each group has its specific functions. Some groups are responsible for learning, thinking, memory, speech, among others. Alzheimer disease prevents some of these groups to operate properly by hindering their communication. For example, at the end of the poem, when the old man reaches home, he is welcomed by a woman he describes as old and white-haired. Possibly, this could be his wife welcoming him from the hospital but due to memory loss caused by the condition, he is not in a position to remember, and that is why in the last four lines he has to decide who this old woman is (24-28).
The second poem, I am Still a Person by Judy Lauer, is an insight into the mind of a patient living with Alzheimer. She is symbolic of the people directly affected by the condition. The poem uses imagery and descriptive narration to project the mind of and Alzheimer patients. For instance, in the third line, Kenny Dale Lauer, Judys husband admits not to remember anyone, but at least, he knows that everyone is special. He goes ahead and opens up about his inability to speak but says that if he could, he would utilize it to the maximum, he would even shout (2-4). These are just but a few of the challenges that patients who have Alzheimer go through. Their lives are filled with sadness, tears, worries and self-pity. They experience mixed emotions and wish more than anything to be able to lead a normal life but they know the impossibility of this desire, and this kills them inside a little more. Judy tries to tell the world that although these people go through all these crazy things and their life is a little bit different, they are still people and we should care for them without discrimination. A little love, laughter, and company is never too much to give and means a lot to them.
One of the most physically and psychologically distressful and frustrating illnesses that a person can be diagnosed with is Alzheimers. The fact that it is a progressive disease and worsens with age is enough reason to offer support both physical and emotional to these patients. Dementia is the characteristic symptom of Alzheimer and just like the two poems say, patients who have Alzheimer should be treated equally and not discriminated against.Alzheimers by Kelly Cherry
He stands at the door, a crazy old man Back from the hospital, his mind rattlinglike the suitcase, swinging from his hand,That contains shaving cream, a piggy bank,A book he sometimes pretends to read,His clothes. On the brick wall beside himRoses and columbine slug it out for space, claw the mortar.The sun is shining, as it does late in the afternoonin England, after rain.Sun hardens the house, reifies it,Strikes the iron grillwork like a smithyand sparks fly off, burning in the bushes--the rosebushes--While the white wood trim defines solidity in space.This is his house. He remembers it as his,Remembers the walkway he built between the front roomand the garage, the rhododendron he planted in back,the car he used to drive. He remembers himself,A younger man, in a tweed hat, a man who lovedMusic. There is no time for that now. No time for music,The peculiar screeching of strings, the luxuriousFiddling with emotion.Other things have become more urgent.Other matters are now of greater import, have moreConsequence, must be attended to. The firstThing he must do, now that he is home, is decide whoThis woman is, this old, white-haired womanStanding here in the doorway,Welcoming him in.
I am Still a Person by Judy Lauer
I have Alzheimers, but just the same,Kenny Dale Lauer is still my nameI may not remember who you are,But I know your special, at least so far.I cannot speak, no words come out.But if I could I think Id Shout.Sometimes Im Sad, and shed a tear,Sometimes its, scary and lots of fear,Sometimes I smile when you stop by,Even if its just to say hi.I worked at Fairbanks, this I knowBut, dont you all? I do think so.It is hard to swallow when I try to eat.But good ol ice cream is still a treat.I drool a lot and make a messIts part of this crazy disease I guess.I wear pull ups, and I hate clothes,and what Im thinking, no one knows.All the nurses and helpers too,Know exactly what to do,I love my Teddy and Teddy loves me,
I am still a person, and God Bless Me.
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