Poem: 'I don't want to be cured'
Tim Shanks's poem about regarding his stammer as something that doesn't need to be cured.
Tim has written several articles for our Your Voice section about trying different things for his stammer over the years and coming to the conclusion that stammering is nothing to be ashamed of.
I don't want to be cured
By Tim Shanks
I am wary of people who tell me
There is nothing worse than a stammer
For me — they are a curse
I don't want to be cured!
I am not curious
About the curers anymore
I do not want a healer —
A stealer of my stammer
I want a dia-logue with my stammer
I do not want a dire-logue with Mr Logue*
I do not want to ring Mr Bell*
I do not want to say "hello" to Mr Del Ferro*
I do not want to hire Mr McGuire*
I do not want to see the light with Mrs Blight*
I do not want to stop it with Mr Lovett*
I am not yet ready to be proud
I just want to learn how to like my stammer
I do not just want to please my listener
I just need to be an open stammerer
I am what I ammer
I am a stammerer
I want to be St Ammer
The patron saint of my stammer!
*Lionel Logue: a speech therapist who taught King George VI a diaphragmatic breathing technique.
*Andrew Bell: used to run a 'stammering cured' course in Scotland (which I applied for but never went to!)
*Lee Lovett: a self-proclaimed 'stuttering cure specialist' in America. “Stuttering is not organic. It is psychosomatic. The mind is where it must be attacked. We don’t accept stuttering. We stop it. We define cure as speech that does not appear to be disabled.”
*Len Del Ferro: a Dutch opera singer who used a diaphragmatic breathing technique to 'overcome' stuttering. “Convince yourself that stuttering can be completely overcome.”
*David McGuire: combines aspects of Len Del Ferro and the avoidance reduction therapy of American stammering therapist Joseph Sheehan.
“You are working to overcome a stutter. Your goal is to become an eloquent and articulate speaker, rather than simply a non-stutterer.”
*Anne Blight: founder of The Starfish Project in the UK. Uses similar methods to David McGuire. Offers 'recovery from stammering'.