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Happy National Poetry Month! Tips for reading

April is National Poetry Month!

Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching is one of my favorite books - especially the translation by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English. I designed this poster of my favorite verse - png and print quality pdf below. It hangs in my office and ponder its message often - full text below.

Other favorite collections:

Su Tung-p'o, Burton Watson, translator

The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry, Burton Watson, translator

Japanese Death Poems, Yoel Hoffmann, editor

The Essential Haiku, Robert Hass, editor

And for your person who is on a dementia journey, the ability to read is often maintained late into the journey. Some tips for reading:

  • You may find that your person enjoys reading aloud, rather than silently.

  • Read-aloud groups are a great way to cultivate connection

  • If your person has difficulty reading, try a larger font size, a narrow width of text (or, wide borders), and high contrast (black on white background or black on yellow background)

  • Your person may enjoy shorter articles or stories, rather than longer texts

  • Choose themes that are meaningful to your person - for ex, gardening, dogs, devotionals, etc

Do you know about StrongerMemory? It's a research-based free program to emphasize working memory and includes reading aloud, completing simple math quickly and handwriting. For more information: and a research update on StrongerMemory with George Mason University:

Print-quality PDF:

be growtn 30 spokes
Download PDF • 3.26MB

Tao te Ching, Lao Tzu, Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English, translators

Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub

It is the center hole that makes it useful.

Shape clay into a vessel;

It is the space within that makes it useful.

Cut doors and windows for a room;

It is the holes which make it useful.

Therefore profit comes from what is there;

Usefulness from what is not there

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