poetry and writing in care homes

Signature at Camberley resident Robert Murphy has accomplished a writer’s dream after he started writing a few years ago and his work has received a great response.

For many writers, poetry is a way to express themselves and share their stories with the world. Writing can be an motivating tool for those who are living in care homes to also share their stories through poetry and other forms of literature; an opportunity for self-reflection too, in a safe space.
Residents and staff were inspired and asked Robert to sit and talk about his book launch on the 21st of March.

We spoke to Robert asked him a few questions:


How long have you been writing poetry or when did you start?

I started writing poetry just about three years ago while I was talking to a friend of mine who said I had a good turn of phrase and he asked me to write a middle eight to a song he was working on. That turned out quite well so I thought I would try some poetry mainly as a way of putting my thoughts in order and on paper just as something to try.

Do you practice other forms of literature?

I haven’t tried other forms of writing but I do have some ideas for some short stories but at the moment that is all they are, just thoughts.

Which of your poems do you like the most? Is there a list or top 5?

I don’t have a favourite poem of mine. I change my mind with my mood. I could like a poem about my dreams and then I will like one that is based more in reality it just depends on how I am feeling. I like people to have their own thoughts or translate their own meaning of the poem. I think once a person is reading a poem it is theirs to find what they want from it.

Who are your favourite authors or poets?

I always used to love the poems of Spike Milligan when I was younger. They used to make me laugh so much and they were so simple but as I got older I never really read any poet more than another I would rather look at a subject like love or death and read different poems.

Do you have any funny stories or anecdotes about your experiences as a poet that you’d like to share?

I can’t honestly say that I have any funny anecdotes about writing these poems as it was spread out over a few years but accidentally deleting the poems happened a couple of times and I guess you have to laugh at that or you have to cry and I would rather laugh.

Will you continue to write?

I don’t know if I will write again I certainly enjoyed it but I am now of the opinion that this is done now. I only meant for these to be available for my family and to have something to remember me by but some friends read them and liked them so I thought why not put them together in one place.

How has writing changed/affected your life?

I have been amazed at the reception the poems have had and I am glad that I have left something tangible for my family to have after I have gone.

Would you ever make a song from your own poetry?

My friend Neil Samuels has actually recorded one of my poems as a song called Yesterday’s Man and it is available on Spotify and Amazon music as a digital download and you can get it with another one of Neil’s songs.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I would just say to anyone thinking about writing anything to just go for it at the very least it is very therapeutic and at the most your family will love to know about your thoughts. It has been a great time well spent.