Diary of the Plague Year: Day 82 5 June 2020: Quotidian Poetry – The Creative Writing Group at The Felix Post Unit – History

THE FELIX POST UNIT WAS A DAY CENTRE FOR OLDER ADULTS AT THE MAUDSLEY HOSPITAL. IT WAS CLOSED DOWN IN 2008 FOR NO APPARENT OR GOOD REASON. MANY OF ITS SERVICE USERS WERE FROM THE BAME COMMUNITIES OF SOUTH LONDON.

HISTORY
from POSTSCRIPT – Poems by The Creative Writing Group at The Felix Post Unit

The Poetry Group a the Felix Post Unit began as a means of trying to address a more holistic approach to mental health. We, as nurses, instinctively knew the value of creativity, and the value of writing creatively, but were uncertain how to put this into practice.

The group evolved from reading poems to writing poems. Our members had very strong idea of what a poet was, and felt that whatever it was, it wasn’t them. However, this changed as confidence within the group and members began to see their poetry written and read out.

One thing that we were totally unprepared for was the effect of writing and reading their poems. Members of the group did have problems with speech and language and memory. Our members didn’t have a voice, or seem to have the language to convey meaning to their everyday interactions. Poetry, with its emphasis on conveying emotion in an encapsulated format, and use of imagery to convey emotion, appeared to unlock some of the mind’s processes. Something about the act of writing poetry gave our members an eloquent and powerful means of expressing themselves, and also a sense of release and peace. We felt, and continue to feel, both joy and humbleness at the poems written by our elders, and the process continues to bone of ever greater acheivements.

We hope you will enjoy this anthology, written by the elders at the Felix Post Unit.

MONIQUE MARONEY
CLARE JONES
PETER BENNETT