Today’s reflection is from poet Christopher Konrad, on ‘Cold Play Part II’.
Beau Hillier | Editor, pageseventeen
Maybe sometimes an unknown feeling can be released by something outside of oneself triggering it. Maybe that was the case here with my poem ‘Coldplay Part II’ – like the idea that someone or something can fix you when in fact you feel unfixable, when in fact you’ve always felt unfixed or unfixable, that somehow you don’t just quite fit, here or there or anywhere at any time. I did not want this idea of ‘unfixability’ to come across as mawkishly maudlin or sentimental or anything like that. I did want to express the feeling though in cold light of day, and for some reason this particular version of Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ seemed to tap into that feeling, on that day in that moment.
At that time I’d also been reading about John Clare (1793 – 1864) who was an English poet, the son of a farm labourer, who some established poets of the day made a bit of a celebrity out of. In his later years he was in and out of various asylums around Epping Forest. So the poem focuses on the ideas around ‘mad’ poets, ‘unfixable’ perhaps, and looks at the idea of madness from the perspective of a condition of life somehow imposed on certain individuals who, if they are under enough pressure, will become unwell. But, under other circumstances these individuals actually tap into thoughts and feelings not typically accessible by people who fit ‘very well’ into the world.
While not wanting to romanticise the real suffering of those who are seriously unwell, this poem attempts to look at a permanent state of feeling ‘out of kilter’ with the rest of the world. At its worst, this feeling can manifest as paranoia, in general it can feel just the way the poem describes.
Christopher Konrad has completed his PhD in creative writing and has had poems published with two other WA poets in a recent anthology called Sandfire (2012) and in many journals and online. He currently works with the new and emerging communities in Perth.