Category Archives: History

Mirror Poem of Greek and German Philosophy

Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was inspired by reading about Diogenes of Sinope and Friedrich Nietzsche. They were both influenced by Aristotle (384-322 BC). Diogenes (400-325 BC) was a contemporary of Aristotle, while Neitzsche lived from 1844-1900.

Superman and The Dog

Although over 2000 years apart, and living in very different societies, both believed in questioning their dominant culture, and freeing themselves from doctrines that drained their creative energies.

Nietzsche believed that humanity should free itself from external controls and strong influences while channelling desires for power into creativity.

Diogenes was nicknamed the Dog, because he chose to live with dogs as a beggar. He believed that living that way was more real than within society, and that mastery of the self could not be taken like material possessions.

Power to the People (song)
Power to the People (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Aristotle’s Disciples Meet, Middle Divides Ages

rise above
others
yourself
what outside forces expect of you
what power you seek to gain
to create your ideal
to be your ideal creation

self control, humanity’s goal

living at one with nature
creating a visible virtue
a reality within mind and self
that cannot be broken or stolen
proud
living
outside society

Diogenes sitting in his tub. Painting by Jean-...
Diogenes sitting in his tub. Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1860) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).

Remembrance Day UK Poem

Marc Latham’s new Folding Mirror poem started off less than an hour ago with the idea of creating a war poem, as  the UK’s remembrance day takes place this week. Marc thinks the time taken to create the poem is quite impressive, but maybe you’ll think it shows in a poor poem!? Unlike some of the great twentieth-century war poets, Marc can’t claim to have experienced the trials and tribulations of war, and wrote the poem from media representations.
The first line  of the poem kind of had Bob Dylan’s first line of The Times they are a-Changin’ going through Marc’s mind, which was ‘Gather round people…’ Then ‘shell-like’ emerged between Marc’s ears, and he decided to fill the top half of the poem with double-meaning references to some of the bombs and their materials that soldiers have faced in the last few centuries, with Britain’s two twentieth-century ‘world wars‘ the most redolent; this ends with France’s primary river. France was central to both ‘world-wars’ in Europe.
For your increased enjoyment of the poem, here are some explanations of the slang words found in the first half of the poem:
shell-like is slang for ear.
shrapnel is slang for small valued money: such as pennies, cents and centimes.
bomb is slang for do badly.
powder is slang for drugs such as cocaine.
The second half of the poem focuses on the after-effects of war experiences that affect many combatants through post-traumatic stress disorder. Here’s the poem:
WW1 poets sim - field hospital
WW1 poets sim – field hospital (Photo credit: TaraYeats)
Bombs Away May, Return Another Day
cluster around people
words in your shell-like
powder to brain
paid with shrapnel
you’re gonna bomb
fragmentation in Seine
mortar rains, immortal remains
shrill crater creator
lands in cranium
disorder neurons’ new
rule of thumb
the sound of air-mines
blows sound mind
774 - Neuron Connection - Pattern
774 – Neuron Connection – Pattern (Photo credit: Patrick Hoesly)
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk).

New Mirror Poetry Book Reviewed for Publication

Great news on the Folding Mirror book publishing front, as Marc Latham’s 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections was just sent to Kindle for review. It should be available soon if given the okay.
Here’s the book’s description:
Amazon Description
242 is Dr. Marc Latham’s second poetry collection, after the first one was published by Chipmunka in 2009. The first collection contained poems written by Marc from his youth to the creation of the Folding Mirror form, while this book focuses on the FM form recognised by Lewis Turco in his definitive ‘The Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics, Including Odd and Invented Forms’.
Caroline Gill, an award-winning poet whose ‘Thalatta, Thalatta’ Folding Mirror poem was used as an example in ‘The Book of Forms’ provides an introductory explanation of the Folding Mirror form at the start of this book.
This book contains 121 Folding Mirror poems created in three years by Marc Latham as he tried to make sense of the universe and life’s place in it. They are supported by 121 reflections relevant to the poems’ themes.
The seven chapters reflect the wide spectrum of issues and topics covered, being divided into: personal-psychological (containing thirty-four poems and thirty-four reflections), social (19-19), culture (15-15), literary (12-12), nature (30-30), travel (6-6) and space (5-5).
The poems and reflections were inspired by the deepest thoughts of a PhD graduate and world traveller, and his new research and observations on the above subjects. Before and during his world travels and university education, Marc was inspired by Romantic and Beat poets, Rock musicians and other writers and journalists who have trawled the mind for self-analysis while searching for knowledge about human nature.
Marc’s first collection featured bipolarity and ADHD in the title, and included several poems inspired by them. These topics feature again in this collection, with the poet finding the mirror form especially conducive for bipolarity poetry.
From his position in the average age’s middle-age, Marc’s poems and reflections in this collection stretch from humanity’s prehistoric past to our current space exploration and prospective future, while also comparing us with the animal world, and tackling the important social and environmental problems of the present.
Having focused on hegemony theory in his doctoral research, Marc uses his poetry to try and break through the cultural ‘norms and accepted truths’ of the modern monotheistic world to highlight alternative realities that could possibly improve conditions for plant, animal and human life.
Marc uses the two sides of the Folding Mirror poem to show at least two sides of arguments and issues, with the folding line in the middle either connecting or dividing the two halves.
There is also time for beauty and comedy amongst the digging and depression, and some poems and reflections provide colourful light-heartedness to lift the mood.
Several of the poems posted as reflections were written while Marc undertook a 100-mile trek to view Everest in the Nepalese Himalayas.
It is hoped that as well as entertaining the reader, the poems and thoughts will support the preservation of life and nature, and improve human understanding of itself and the world.

Poem Inspired by Ancient Britain Stone Circle Culture Documentary

 Map of Stenness, Orkney : Sigurd Towrie
Marc Latham hadn’t planned any new Folding Mirror poems this week, and wanted to focus on other writing work, but Suzi Quatro’s Search for Jim Morrison inspired a poem yesterday, and Neil Oliver‘s History of Ancient Britain documentary last night (http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b01971gm/, available until 10:04PM Sun, 8 Jan 2012 in the UK; don’t know about any other availability) had an exciting archaeological find in Orkney that seemed perfect for a Folding Mirror poem.  As the documentary is only available this week it was thought that a quick publishing was needed.  Sorry if it’s a poetry overload so soon after the holidays!

Spiritual Portal found between Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness

The Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness have long been fascinating attractions on Orkney, off the north-east coast of Scotland.  An archaeological dig between the two circles, called the Ness of Brodgar, has now found a large temple complex, which they think was a portal on a procession route from the Land of the Living – Stones of Stenness to the Land of the Dead – Ring of Brodgar.
It is thought that there was a similar relationship between Stonehenge and the nearby Durrington Walls, with a procession route between the two via the River Avon.
It is believed that the Ness of Brodgar was destroyed when the Bronze Age brought a new political and religious system, and the inhabitants lost faith with the old Stone Age rituals.
The poem is structured in line with the order of the ancient procession rather than geographically; as shown in the above map on the Orkney Jar website, the Ring of Brodgar is north of the Stones of Stenness.  Here’s the poem:
When Life Looked into the Mirror of Death
Land of the Living
Stones of Stenness
carefully crafted circle
spiritual lea
pathway between sea
Ness of Brodgar, purifying portal
respecting ancient lessons
pathway processions
alms around ancestors
Ring of Brodgar
Land of the Dead
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk).

Poem about Future Wars same as the Past

Wounded in hospital (American Civil War)
Image via Wikipedia
Today we have another powerful Folding Mirror poem by KJP Garcia, and thanks again to KJP for creating and sharing them on the above blog and here.  This was first published in the Straight to Screen section of the above blog.
by KJP Garcia:
the news told new
stories of future alien
civilizations’
secrets
the grandchildren denied the beginning of the settlements
played
war
and wrinkled their clothes
as next show began

Poem about Future Research into Past, Above and Below

Look into the Future
Image via Wikipedia
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was inspired by the thought that a lot of our future knowledge acquisition in space and humanities will probably be through increased discoveries of past events.
In space, scientists are trying to trace the universe back in time as far as they can, and to the Big Bang if possible.  While in the humanities, we will no doubt have a better understanding of our world and ancient cultures if we find more evidence; most of this is probably underground at the moment.
The poem title more or less reverses the Back to the Future film title.  Here it is:
Future to the Back 
Space researchers focusing on
finding beginning
trying to catch
the big bang above us
stretching time
epic riddling rhyme
spinning standing still
an incomplete puzzle
earthly knowledge
pieces buried in sandy sea
stones and fossils
history unearthed
bring knowledge paradigm shifts

Armistice Day Poem

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.

Pop Goes the Weasel explanation and nursery rhyme.

For British soldiers, allies and the victims of war;
and in the not optimistic hope that one day soon there will be an end to war.

British Legion