St Albans MP judges Parkinson's poems to raise awareness of condition

Parkinson's poet Janet Roberts.

Parkinson's poet Janet Roberts. - Credit: Janet Roberts

Poetry inspired by experiences of living with Parkinson's were penned by local sufferers to raise awareness of the condition.

The West Herts branch of Parkinson's UK enlisted the help of St Albans MP Daisy Cooper, to judge members' poems about this progressive and incurable condition.

Committee member Ruth Herman said: "Parkinson's is said to be the world’s fastest growing neurological condition and there is no cure. But here in St Albans and the surrounding area there is help and support right from the moment of diagnosis when people might be reeling from the devastating news. Knowing where to go for this support can make a huge difference."

Daisy added: "It was a pleasure to judge the West Herts Branch of Parkinson’s UK poetry competition ahead of World Parkinson’s Day on April 11. There were a number of fantastic entries from St Albans this year and it was a difficult decision to pick the best poem.

"It’s clear that not enough people understand what it’s like to live with Parkinson’s, and that those that do live with it, can feel as though the focus on the disease and its symptoms can erode their sense of self.

"The poem I picked as the winning entry 'Please Don’t Ignore Me' felt like a plea from the heart of someone living with Parkinson’s to a loved one to not just talk about them, but to keep enjoying each day with them.

"Well done to everyone who participated and to everyone raising awareness of how to support those living with Parkinson’s.”

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Author of the poem, Janet Roberts explained why she had written the piece: "Poetry is a means to express yourself through words.

"You can say a lot by choosing the right ones. This poem expresses how I feel when people don’t see that I am still the same person inside, even though physically I can’t do as much as I used to."

Please Don’t Ignore Me

Don’t say to each other “Oh isn’t it sad,”

When you talk of me and the life I once had.

Talk with me instead and then we can say

Together we made this a better day.