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)

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Haiku and The Simple Idea of Folding Mirror

The folding mirror poetry can be as simple or complex as you want to make it.

Haiku

Take the haiku form, which was the main inspiration for the folding mirror.

Haiku works on a five seven five syllable format, so that’s:

syllable syllable syllable syllable syllable
syllable syllable syllable syllable syllable syllable syllable
syllable syllable syllable syllable syllable

Over the centuries and many miles of travelling the  haiku form has been experimented with and adapted, and the same has already happened with the folding mirror form.

Haiku Inspires Folding Mirror

When I first thought of the folding mirror I just thought that the structure of two halves of poetry should mirror each other either side of a folding middle line. 

For example, in the structure below, the lines on the outside have three words, the middle lines have two words and the lines nearest to the folding mirror line have four words:

word word word
word word
word word word word

folding mirror line

word word word word
word word
word word word

The Development of Folding Mirror

However, when Writelink ran a folding mirror competition some poets interpreted the form more strictly, with even the words mirroring each other in the two halves, while others tried a looser form, with the two sides not even mirroring each other structurally.

It was great to see the form developing so quickly, and also how it inspired lots of great ideas and poetry.

Recent Experimentation and Inspiration

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the folding line, and how it can either stand alone, link the two halves, end the first half of the poem or begin the second half.

It has also inspired me to read and interpret ten Romantic paintings in a way that I wouldn’t have done without the form.

So hopefully there is a lot of use for the folding mirror form, and it will inspire poets to pen innovative poetry for years to come.

Hello Poets and Readers

This site was set up in the middle of March 2009, and will hopefully provide a base for the exhibition and promotion of folding mirror poetry.

Please feel free to leave contributions in Comments, or by email to marc@greenygrey.co.uk and I’ll put them up on the site as long as it’s okay with you.

I hope you enjoy the poems, and try some folding mirrors. 

Any views and reviews are also welcomed.

It’s a new site and poetry form, so maybe you’ll be at the forefront of its development.

Marc.

A Site for Reading and Publishing Folding Mirror and Related Poetry