Monday, 6 February 2012

Pop Poetry

Like most people, I listen to music all the time and have wide and varied tastes (from Aretha Franklin to Aerosmith, opera to hip-hop, Harry Connick Jr to McFly – yes, really! – and all others in between).  Often I’ll be shaking it to the rhythm of the beats before I decipher the lyrics (which is odd, considering I’m all things wordy), but these lines slapped me in the face when I first heard this song, and they’re still resonating a couple of months later:

You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul

~ ‘Jar of Hearts’ Christina Perri

It’s a good song, though for my taste, Ms Perri does get a bit pitchy towards the end (not that I’m Randy Jackson from American Idol, dawg), but it’s the poetry in this line that makes me stop and think.

I think about how coldness is an epidemic that spreads from one person to another, contaminating their kindness towards others in short seconds.  How easily we turn against each other when rumour rusts acquaintances, friendships and family, let alone lovers – when all we need is that one match-head of clarity that will fuel an inferno; a moment to step back and decide what we really think when others are silent, and to reach out accordingly.

I think about how ice forms* – a thin layer at first, powdery and pretty like frosted eyeshadow; harder now with the dropping temperature, hard and sharp like the cutting edge of a tin can; tier upon tier after night upon night of frosts, it is canny and deceptive, glistening in the shadows like slippery tar, waiting for us to skid across its dark glass face.

I think about how coldness must exist, for we live in a world of balances – yin and yang, day and night, hot and cold.  How the cold would not seem like ice if we did not know the searing heat, and how we can warm ourselves again against future winters.

How we don’t have to be infected, our souls don’t have to suffer.

Perhaps this lyric inspires the above rambles because, last January, on a hard, frosty morning, when walking my beloved late dog, I passed a cemetery and noticed how thick the frost was atop the tombs, how the shade held back the sun and denied its thawing touch; and wondered...

How cold must the bones be?  Are the ghosts inside the graves shivering? 

This thought, without character or plot, has stayed with me; haunts me.  I feel like there’s something there, deep down, like it’s a good spark-line for a piece of writing; I just have to mine it, find the tinder that will ignite it.

I haven’t yet.

And I don’t want it to remain just a line, just a wonder.

But nothing comes.  I move on to other ideas, other moments to write about.  It remains frozen inside my creative soul, waiting for me to thaw it out.

If you think you can help me, please let me know!  A thought that you have and share with me may push me to have another one, concertina-stylee.  I’m game to try if you are...

*Disclaimer: I am a wordsmith not a scientist, and so I very much doubt that I’ve got the step-by-step-ness of frost right – mucho apologies!

1 comment:

  1. Great piece! I too love those lyrics, and I love your 'idea' of the ghosts/bones shivering. We've talked about that walk before & think there really is a story in there to tell so I'm just waiting for you to write it first! Sometimes inspiration comes from the most unlikeliest of places. Zo xx


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