This week, we’re sharing a poem recently read with some of our reading groups for people living with dementia – a selection by the American poet Sara Teasdale. One of our group leaders explains how it has evoked some mixed emotions:
“Initially there has been a negative feeling from the first reading of the poem, particularly the line ‘If mankind perish utterly’. Once we’ve read it a few times and reflected further, the responses of the group members seem to change and become more appreciative and less negative; although the sense of sadness remains, it is perhaps less singular – other things are alongside it, not just sadness once we’ve talked about it.”
There Will Come Soft Rains
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;
And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white,
Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;
And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.
Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;
And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.