Every other Monday residents at Spring Hills Mount Vernon’s assisted living community are treated to a reading by a local poet. This past Monday veteran of verse Peter Lattu asked his friend and fellow artist Charles Williams to join him.
The topic of Monday’s reading was inspired by the 100 year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. The disaster claimed close to 150 lives but inspired higher standards of factory and industrial safety. Both Lattu and Williams read aloud from long form and shorter poems written to honor the tragedy which happened on March 25, 1911 in New York City.
As Lattu introduced the topic, residents voiced their recognition of the historic event and listened to the reading with rapt attention.
“I think first of all seniors respond to the arts,” said Charles Williams, who is a singer and actor. “They just walk out of the room energized.”
Employees at Spring Hills said the residents really look forward to the bi-monthly readings.
“We have one resident who writes her own poetry but due to a stroke she can’t communicate anymore,” said Director of Recreation Services Krista Wells. “She feels a connection there.”
Lattu tries to read poetry that corresponds to the season or an upcoming holiday. He read Christmas themed verse in December and love poems in February. But regardless of topic, Lattu says there’s just something special about spoken poetry.
“Poetry is meant to be read aloud,” Lattu said. “It’s the sound of the words. Poetry speaks to the heart. It goes deep inside of us and answers a spiritual need.”
Close to 20 residents were gathered for this past Monday’s reading. Spring Hills employees want to make sure the community knows that this event is open to anyone who wishes to attend. If you have poetry you would like to share, Krista Wells urges you to get in touch so she can arrange a time for you to come in and read. For more information, click here.