Presentation Title: Float Your Name Out Into Darkness: An exploration of Alzheimer’s poetry

Section: The Mystery of Creativity IV

Location: , 104

Date & Time: Friday, April 19, 2013 - 3:50pm - 4:05pm


Traditional elegies are written to commemorate a person gone in both mind and body. But how do poets respond to someone whose mind is transformed beyond recognition while their body remains? My work explores how Alzheimer’s affects the traditional elegy, discussing the common themes, allusions, and style of contemporary poems written about Alzheimer’s disease and its sufferers. It also analyzes how particular symptoms appear in the poems, and the differences between poems written by a caretaker/relative of Alzheimer’s patient (for example, Rachel Hadas’s The Ache of Appetite) and those written around a fictional character (Sean Nevin’s Oblivio Gate). I examine the differences (if any) between traditional elegies and Alzheimer’s poetry, and the possible motivations for writing these poems. 

Type of Presentation: Individual oral

Oral presenters
Presentation Area: English & American Literature

Presentation Topic: Memory

Arts presenters

Class Project
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Presenter Information
Presenter(s): Zachow, Alix Virginia
Major(s): ENAM
Class Year(s): 2013

Sponsor(s): Millier, Brett C.
Dept(s): ENAM

Moderator: ,