Rare Frequencies


SKU e-book Category

184 in stock


By John Sawkins

ISBN: 978-1-84747-801-6
Published: 2008
Pages: 32
Key Themes: poetry, bi-polar disorder, manic depression, politics



A collection of poems reflecting the paradoxical elements of existence, “Rare Frequencies” attempts to challenge orthodox explanations of life experiences. It demonstrates the power of words to interpret or misinterpret events and our dilemma as to whether to “go with the flow” or challenge generally accepted wisdom. Many of the poems represent a virtually spontaneous reaction to an injustice, an etymological conundrum, a political decision or, occasionally, a reaction to being stimulated by another art form such as music or a work of art. Most could possibly be the product of bipolar interludes over the last eight years.

About the Author

The author writes with a fascination for words and their meaning. He recalls sitting down with an etymological dictionary at the age of twelve and pondering the significance of language, even at that early stage. After studying Latin and German at university, he went on to become a teacher. Later on in life, he realised a long held desire to pursue a more psychological approach to the function of language. He believes in constantly seeking out new ventures and in reinventing himself to meet such challenges. His poems form a response to the bizarre and incongruous situations in society; to injustice, deceit and farce.

Diagnosed at the age of 52 with manic depression, John can now with hindsight understand why in the past he had been capable of staying up all night writing his dissertation at the one extreme, and yet frequently feeling lacking in motivation, at the other. John Sawkins spent the early part of 2000 in a psychiatric hospital after a particularly florid manic episode, but succeeded in regaining his post as a college lecturer six months later. His experiences led him to challenge the pharmaceutical industry’s involvement in the treatment of mental illness and successfully seek out for himself alternatives to medication.

Book Extract

New Identity

I remember, therefore I am:
Erase my memories and I cease to exist.
I am what I was, what I have always been,
So how can I change my personality?

Reinvent myself, write an alternative biography,
Plant the seeds imaginatively,
Visualise my history on a grand scale:
Colourful, loud, tangible and in good taste.

Suppress the superego and encourage the alter ego;
Release the potential, realize the dream;
Become what you could have been:
Future recordings of pictures and sounds
Triggered by post-hypnotic suggestions
In a post-avant-garde world,
Where only inanimate objects return
To their original shape.


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