Alzheimer's Poem

801 Words4 Pages
The poem "Alzheimer’s," written by Kelly Cherry, is a poem in which the poet reveals the wretched mental disease of Alzheimer's. Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, that progressively gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s affects ones’ memory, thought process and behavior. Someone suffering from Alzheimer’s go through periods where they can recall past events, but have trouble recollecting exactly what happened and people involved. Memory loss is one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s, and it is presented throughout the whole poem. Cherry uses vivid imagery to take the reader into the perplexing mind of an Alzheimer’s patient by composing a story of a man who is returning home from the hospital to a house that is unfamiliar, but yet familiar to him. The poem starts off by introducing the main character who is suffering from the horrendous disease known as Alzheimer’s. Cherry starts off by crafting a description of the man to help provide someone who may not know about Alzheimer’s, with a harrowing picture of someone who is suffering from the disease, may appear to be like to an outside party. Cherry describes him as being “a crazy old man” (1), and describes his intellectual thought process as “Rattling” (2), “like the suitcase, swinging from his hand” (3). These opening lines set the senile appearance of the man, both physically and mentally, and portrays a clear image that sticks with the reader though out the poem. When someone suffers from Alzheimer’s, they sometimes have moments of clarity and can recall things about their past. Seeing familiar objects, even hearing familiar songs can trigger this moment of lucidity. In the poem, this aspect of the disease is triggered when the man is looking at his house. Cherry shows this facet of Alzheimer’s by taking the reader back into the past of the man. The poet states that “This is his house. He remembers it as his Remembers the walkway he built between the front room and 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 loved Music.” (15-20) From this optical imagery, the reader gets to go inside the mans’ mind and step back into a time that was happy for him. A time when he
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