Marc Latham thought he’d invented the Folding Mirror poetry form in 2007, but new evidence unearthed today in the planetary poetry pond suggests that a folding mirror style was around for a long time before that, although it was unnamed, and specified that the same words should be used in each half of the poem. So it is slightly different to the form initiated/named by Latham, although it was much closer than Latham had been aware of.
Robert Lee Brewer Provides Expert Poetry Knowledge
Latham always admitted he was a poetry novice when he thought up his first Folding Mirror poem, after being inspired by the haiku form. Some poets with more experience and knowledge told him about the palindrome, but the examples Latham saw just had two blocks of text in two halves, so he thought the Folding Mirror was different.
Latham at first thought that this might have been inspired by his Folding Mirror poems, but when he searched palindrome poetry, he found a site with examples of three types of palindrome poetry from 2004, and it said that they were invented by Sotades in 3rd century BC Greece. One of the styles does use a linking word in the middle.
The Future for Folding Mirror Poetry
The big positive out of today’s revelations is a window to lots of great mirror poetry, and hopefully this will increase interest in the mirror form(s)…and this site…?
would it be decoded as nationalistic/warmongering by some
or unworthy of a non-service person to write such poetry by others
Not feeling sorry for himself, Latham finds such things a bit of a dilemma, as when you become a working writer/poet, you have to try to find markets to make a living, and try to balance the creative/professional balance.
This of course opens writers who support a cause to criticism, and accusations that they are only using it for publicity and to further their career.
Marc Latham is always aware of this, and although he does offer his opinions, and try to market his work, he always does it with words he believes in, and doesn’t use marketing strategies that he doesn’t think ethical or fair.
In the current media climate it seems that having extreme opinions is the easiest way to get attention, but Marc Latham tries to keep to the ethics of the Greenygrey (sorry if that, and all this, seems a plug!), and look at everything from all points of view, and provide a balanced opinion, or a balance to what he thinks is missing or skewed in some debates.
Anyway, after writing his armistice poem, and reading it, and seeing the field of poppies gravatar he used last week, he was reminded of the last episode of Blackadder, which mixed images of the cast going over the top to their deaths with the fields of poppies that would later replace the mud and wire.
It hadn’t been a conscious influence at the time of creating the poem, but the juxtaposition of history and nature, myth and reality seemed very reminiscent afterwards. So Marc Latham wrote this poem in reflection:
Reflecting on Poems of your Future
inspiration for creation
idea falls to life
new thoughts harvested
consume, digest, scatter
poem of your future, reflections on the past
analyse, decode, remember
old images recalled
memories return to mind
unconscious reveals mystery
Marc Latham’s Armistice Day poem started off as a normal Folding Mirror poem, but then when he wrote peep goes the whistle in the middle it reminded him of the nursery rhyme pop goes the weasel.
After looking the nursery rhyme up he thought he would include parts of the rhyme (in black) to contrast fun peace time elements, like memories of civilian life, to the main horrors of war, in the present, poem (in red).
The Whistle Cried Heavy
Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.
waiting in the purgatory of trench hospitality dead dreams of peace vermin, mud and disease a date with destiny is awaiting me
peep goes the whistle Up and down the City road, In and out the Eagle, That’s the way the money goes, Pop goes the weasel. my comrades carry me
over the top amongst the deadly crop bullets, wire and metal please god cry heckle an enemy’s greeting our hell’s garden meeting
All around the cobblers bench
the monkey chased the people;
The donkey thought ’twas all in fun,
pop goes the weasel.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem interprets the cover of the new Doris Brendel album, The Last Adventure.
Without hearing the lyrics of the album, or reading any of Brendel’s explanations, the image reminded Marc of Pink Floyd‘s Vera song, so he interpeted it from that perspective within the Folding Mirror form.
Vera Lynn a Female Churchill
Vera Lynn was a heroine in World War Two, travelling to entertain troops around the world, despite the grave danger to herself. She was perhaps the female Churchill, in terms of raising spirits and keeping the country motivated during the terrible times it was suffering.
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and Personal Loss
However, Lynn’s song lyrics that We’ll Meet Againof course didn’t always come true, in mortality at least, and Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters lost his father in the war. So, he sang from the loss point of view on The Wall album.
In Afghanistan, British forces are now fighting their deadliest and most justifiable conflict since World War Two against Al-Quaeda and the Taliban. Many service people have lost their lives trying to improve conditions for ordinary Afghan people, and at the same time defending Britain from further terrorist attacks.
Whether their lives have been wasted, as so many British lives were in World War One, or if they will have made a difference, like in World War Two, ultimately depends on the politicians involved.
Armistice Day is this Thursday, November 11. Remembrance Sunday is on November 14.
The folding middle line appears at the top of the poem, with the two halves below it in a timeline, which is another first for the Folding Mirror form.
Vera, Pink Floyd, Doris
A Site for Reading and Publishing Folding Mirror and Related Poetry