Category Archives: Culture

Music to religion.

Poetry From Scotland to France, Geography and Culture

After a week of mostly theory on this blog I thought it was time for a bit of poetry.

The Poem Subject
The following poem was influenced by my visit to Scotland last year, my hitching across the south of France over twenty years ago, and seeing a television nature programme on the north of Scotland’s white sandy beaches.

I thought that the north of Scotland and the south of France surprisingly share many similarities: white beaches with mountains inland, and that it might make a decent folding mirror poem with the English Channel providing the folding middle line.

This meant that the poem grew to include the whole of Britain and France, rather than just the north of Scotland and south of France as first envisaged.

The north of Scotland is at the top of the poem, and then it works down through the Highlands to the big cities in the UK. At the bottom of the poem the big cities of France lead south through the mountains to the southern beach.

The Structure

The poem contains two types of lines that can be used in folding mirrors. These show the geographic similarities and cultural differences either side of the English Channel.

The outer three lines have the same words either side, emphasising the geographical similarities in the two countries, but switched around in their lines to create a reflective effect, as explained with the colours yesterday.

The inner three lines have the same word counts and punctuation, but the different drinks, foods and cars of the two countries.

Here’s the poem. Enjoy!

From Morar to Monte Carlo

White sand and azure sea
Rolling hills to high peaks
Villages, towns and cities
Beer and whiskey,
Bangers and mash, fish and chips
Jaguar and Rover

Connected through a tunnel under the North Sea

Renault and Peugeot
Pot au feu, coq au vin
Wine and cognac,
Cities, towns and villages
High peaks to rolling hills
Azure sea and white sand

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The First Folding Mirror

The first folding mirror poem happened by accident.

I was writing a poem for a competition a couple of years ago, and just noticed that the two halves of the poem and the subject’s life seemed to mirror.

The poem’s structure was working out to be about the same amount of words each line, either side of a defining moment.

This reminded me of what I knew about the haiku structure, with two same sized lines either side of a longer middle line.

So I then created the poem with the same amount of words in each corresponding line (first and last / outside and outside etc) either side of the defining middle line: the folding mirror was born!

The poem was about an unfortunate woman’s life, from birth to death. 

It’s title plays on Jimi Hendrix’s Stone Free.

Its time and place was made vague on purpose.

It is not a hate poem, but a call for change and liberty.

Reading the poem it could be from history or the present; and the subject could even be male, as many men have similar experiences.  

The poems is below, with an explanation of its structure to the side of each line:

Stoned Free

Comfort, Crying, Freedom           (as with the last line, three words separated by two commas)

Sold into slavery,             (as with the second last line, three words and comma)

Beaten, Raped,            (as with third from last line, two words and two commas)

Unwanted by twenty,          (as with fourth from last line, three words and a comma)

Accused of immorality, Judged,         (the folding middle line)

Guilty of course,          (as with fourth line, three words and a comma) 

Jeering, Hatred,         (as with third line, two words and two commas)

Surrounded by men,         (as with the second line, three words and comma)

Pain, Confusion, Liberation  (as with the first line, three words separated by two commas)