New Development in Folding Mirror Form?

Today we have a new Folding Mirror that hopefully adds another dimension to the form.

Poem Explanation

The poem was inspired by a combination of a BBC documentary series on the British Medieval Mind, the Angels and Demons book and film and Channel 4‘s 1066: the Battle for Middle Earth docu-drama.

Poem Structure

The poem subject is new, but not the most original factor. I think the structure may be, as it totally starts from the middle and then works outwards to the outer lines.

The poem starts with the medieval mind thinking about being judged by God, and then working its way through what might happen if they are judged positively and get taken to heaven (up into the top half of the poem) or negatively and taken to hell (down into the bottom half of the poem).

The poem mirrors in line word count: 4-4-4-4-4-3-3-2 (9) 2-3-3-4-4-4-4-4

The line length and punctuation mirror pretty much too. The poem starting in the middle and then dividing to the top and bottom helped with the punctuation, as a capital letter starts the folding line and poem, and then two full stops end it at the two outer lines.

Poem Images

Thanks to Stock.xchng for providing the images, which I then edited on Picasa. Also, thanks to rore d for creating the up arrow, and dropowtt for the down. The images link to the pages where the original photos are on display.

The Poem

To Heaven or Hell

enjoying tranquillity for eternity.
amongst clouds and angels
through the pearly gates
welcomed in by Peter
knocking on heaven’s door
righteous carried upwards

arrow down

we can rise
judged positively

On flat Middle Earth, if we have our lives

negatively received
one will fall

arrow down

damned descending down
dragged by hell’s harpies
to their lord Lucifer
over bloody burning coals
fire and demons surround
slaving painfully for infinity.

List of Poems on Site Updated

With the Folding Mirror poems from the Tips for Writers summer edition and the Romantic Art set on site I thought it was time to update the list of poems.

This site now contains 43 poetry posts: 42 Folding Mirrors and Jean Knill’s haiku set.

The updated list is here: New Posts on this Site.

Claire Knight’s Grandson’s Gift

Today we round off the Tips for Writers summer edition Folding Mirror poems with the third from Claire Knight.

It was great to see talented poets creating Folding Mirror poems in a top small press poetry and writing magazine, and I hope more poets will try out some FMs in the future.

Grandson’s Gift is a colourful and poignant tale about the beauty of receiving presents from family members.

Thanks to Claire for creating and sharing it, and Wendy Webb of Tips for Writers for allowing its re-use.

GRANDSON’S GIFT by Claire Knight

This morning
he painted me a butterfly,
in bold splodges
of lime green and orange,

and gave it to me with bright eyes and beaming smile.

With lime green and orange,
in bold splodges,
he painted me a butterfly
a beautiful butterfly.

Grand Old Duke of York Poem of Our Age by Norman Bissett and

Today we have the second Folding Mirror poem to appear on this site after first being published in the summer Tips for Writers.

Norman’s first poem, STENDHALISMO, is the most viewed poem on this site, and I hope this second one proves as popular.

The poem reflects the hope of youth in the top half of the poem with the reality of age in the bottom, and this theme is cleverly summed up with a metaphor in the poem title; referring as it does to the old nursery rhyme of the grand old duke of York, who marched his men up the hill and then down again.

Thanks to Norman for creating and sharing his poem, and Wendy Webb for allowing its re-use.


Success is a mountain summit
soliciting rape, begging to be conquered,
awaiting our all-out assault.
The towering peaks soar,
defying and challenging us.
We shall assuredly prevail.
Youth, dynamism, zest and self-belief
are ours in abundance.

With the passing years, spirits droop, limbs become leaden.

Weighed down by an excess
of self-doubt, accidie, sloth, the spiritual torpor of age,
defeat, chap-fallen, confronts us.
Mocking and taunting,
unfathomable depths open before us,
awaiting our total capitulation.
Lusting to be inhabited, soliciting occupation,
failure is a bottomless pit.

Summer Garden Reflections by Claire Knight

Today we have the second Folding Mirror poem from Claire Knight that first appeared in the Writing Tips summer edition. It is still available on request from Wendy Webb at Tips for Writers.

The poem mirrors either side of the folding middle line apart from a couple of cleverly placed words, and as the spider weaves an intricate design in the poem Claire creates a rich image of nature at work amongst lush vegetation.

It is timely this week, with summer heat dominant across the UK, and I hope you enjoy it wherever you are.

Thanks to Claire for creating and sharing it, and Wendy and the Norfolk poets for allowing its reuse.

Summer Garden by Claire Knight

Between verdant leaves
a gossamer web weaves
its pristine shape;
sunshine glints and glances
as light breeze dances.

Fragrant blooms of roses scent the warm day

as light breeze dances,
and sunshine glints and glances:
in pristine shape
a gossamer web weaves
between verdant leaves.

Sky Diving Story: Through Cloud Dividing Earth and Space

Sorry about the inactivity on the blog recently, but been busy-busy elsewhere. Did have enough time to think of a new Folding Mirror poem though, and got it down on the computer this morning. So here it is for you, hot off the press as they say. It’s a sky-diving story from the parachutist’s mind.


The Sky Diver’s Story

The poem concerns a parachute jump, and follows the sky-diver’s thoughts from plane to ground, with the poem dropping from top to bottom along with the sky-diver.

The cloud appears as a carpet from above and as a ceiling from below, after the parachutist falls through it in the folding middle line. It also divides the unknown world above from the life the sky-diver knows.


The words per twinned line (outer and outer etc) mirror each other each side of the folding middle line:
6-4-3-2-3-4-4-3-4 (6) 4-3-4-4-3-2-3-4-6

The line lengths are pretty close, and there’s also some correlation between the themes of the twinned lines, with the sentence halves swapped around in the outer lines. Also a bit of rhyme chucked in for no extra charge!

The Poem

Cloud Carpet to Ceiling

hands on floor, legs in space
push out and fall
head feels bare
barely there
is no thought
devoid in the void
through nowt so clear
I have sped
to the cloud ahead

dividing infinity from what’s inside me

on the ground below
I now head
mind twist and turn
what did you learn
was it fun
pull toggles
cushion the return
no crash and burn
feet on ground, arms in air

New Skin For the Blog

As regular visitors will have noticed, this blog has a new skin.

Tarski is a WordPress theme by Ben Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson, and replaces Misty Look by Sadish.

Thanks to all the above for their creations, and WordPress for providing the site too of course.

Tarski fits in with the Folding Mirror theme, with the line of vegetation winding away from the tree in a line. It seems to work okay, and I hope you like it.

Innovative New Folding Mirror Poem by Caroline Gill

Today, we have a new innovative Folding Mirror poem by Caroline Gill, which not only uses knowledge of the colour wheel to produce a mesmerising mirror effect, but also ingeniously contains the first palindromic folding middle line (the letters mirror each other either side of the b in bat).

I’ll let Caroline explain her rationale, and this is followed by the poem and relevant links.

Thanks to Caroline for creating the poem and sharing it with us here on this blog.


I hoped to build on Dr Marc Latham’s ‘Colours‘ poem, in which Marc used different colours to show linked words.


I wanted to combine complementary colours from the colour wheel with mirror imagery.

Seeing Stars at Sunset is intended to feature opposites: black and white; red and green, orange and blue – in addition to secondary colours that can be mixed from the primaries i.e. green (mixed from yellow and blue); orange (mixed from red and yellow), and purple (mixed from red and blue).

I thought that it would be fun to make a ‘concrete poem’ in the shape of a bat with outstretched wings. For maximum impact it needed to be simple and seen at a glance.

For a more pleasing aesthetic effect on the page or screen, I would have liked a better background colour for the words. The word ‘white’ did not show up on white ground, without a pigmented border of some kind.

The pivotal central line is, of course, a ‘palindromic question’, but I don’t think it would have worked with a question mark at each end!

The Poem

Seeing Stars Folding Mirror Poem
Seeing Stars Folding Mirror Poem


Colour Wheel
Water Colour Painting

The Completed Set of Ten Romantic Art Interpretations

Today we have the tenth and final ekphrastic poem interpreting and describing Romantic paintings.

Hannibal and His Men Crossing the Alps is the second from J.M.W. Turner, and is thought to have been inspired by a storm experienced by Turner on Otley Chevin near Leeds.

Structure and Explanation

The poem works from top to bottom of the painting, with the mountains and light in the middle of the painting providing the folding middle line.

The storm fills the top half, and Hannibal’s army the bottom.

The words per line mirror with a 2-2-3-5-4-4- 5 -4-4-5-3-2-2 count.

The Poem

That’s All We Need!

swirling storm
arching cobralike
ready to strike
sheer skin of many greys
twisting as if crazed
below aiming head above

mountains silhouetted against distant light

observe Hannibal lead the
dispersing as in panic
men and elephants of war
hoping to survive
scattering birdlike
gimme shelter

The Painting

Turner's Hannibal Crossing the Alps
Turner's Hannibal Crossing the Alps

Copied from Wikipedia

Thomas Girtin’s Bamburgh Castle: 9 out of 10

In the ninth of ten ekphrastic poems interpreting and describing Romantic paintings we have the second from Thomas Girtin.

J.M.W. Turner, who was friends with Girtin and is widely considered to be Britain’s greatest landscape artist said that he would have lived in poverty had Girtin not died young.

Structure and Explanation

The poem works from the top right corner of the painting down through the castle tower doorway, which provides the folding middle line, and continues down to the left hand bottom corner of the painting in the lower half of the poem.

The poem has a simple structure of 3-5-5-4- 4 -4-5-5-3 words per line.

The Poem

Gatekeeper of Light: Girtin’s Bamburgh Castle

Grey skies swirling
around blue sky a burring
heaven sent hole in cloud
letting sun shine down

On Bamburgh Castle tower

gatekeeper opens to leave
light exit the doorway onto
seagull flock circle a twirling
Storm seas whirling

The Painting

Thomas Girtin's Bamburgh Castle
Thomas Girtin's Bamburgh Castle

Copied from Wikipedia.