Tag Archives: Forms

Folding Mirror Poetry Article

Back in 2010 I wrote an article for Suite 101 on types of Folding Mirror poems. That article is now available to publish here, and is posted below. Hopefully it might inspire you to write one?

Poetry Research Offers Clues to How Forms Evolve

The Folding Mirror poetry form calls for two halves of a poem to mirror each other either side of a folding middle line. The Palindrome form had previously called for two halves of a poem to mirror each other, but there was no middle line to link them; instead, there was a gap between the two mirroring halves. Since the fmpoetry website was set up there have been over seventy Folding Mirror poems published on the site. After a prompt from Caroline Gill, research was undertaken into how the middle line has been used in this new form: to identify whether poets isolated the middle lines or used them to link the two halves of the poem.

Did the Folding Middle Line Stand Alone or Link the Two Halves of Poetry?

Analysis of the seventy-six Folding Mirror poems on the fmpoetrywebsite at the time of the research found that:

  • fifty-one had the middle line dividing the two halves of the poem
  • twenty-five used the middle line to link the two halves.

The Stand Alone Folding Middle Line Poems

An example of a middle line standing alone is found in Sarah James’s Caved poem. The last line of the top half of the poem ends in a full stop, the middle line stands alone and the first line of the bottom half of the poem starts with a capital letter:

night, keep my wings hidden.

Unhinged by symmetry or hinged by unsymmetry…

My flightless wings hide me.

Another example is found in the centre of Norman Bissett’s The Grand Old Duke Of York poem:

are ours in abundance.

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

Weighed down by an excess

The Linking Middle Line Poems

Of the twenty-five middle lines that linked the two halves of the poems, eighteen were full links between the top half and the bottom.

An example of this is the middle of Zoya Gautam’s Priestess poem:

cloistered priestess of the night

embracing darkness

in the scent of her silence

Of the other seven poems, three had the top half of the poem linking with the middle line and a full stop at its end, before the bottom half of the poem starts anew. An example of this is Wendy Webb’sConstitutional Crisis poem:

Martyr him in column ink, for it is better that

one should be sacrificed for the people.

Martyr him in column ink, for it is better than;

Four poems had the top half of the poem ending with a full stop just before the middle line, and then the folding middle line starting the second half of the poem. An example of this is Claire Knight’s Summer Garden poem:

as light breeze dances.

Fragrant blooms of roses scent the warm day

as light breeze dances,


About two-thirds of the Folding Mirror poems had the middle folding line of the poem as a stand alone, while about one-third had the folding middle line linking the two halves in some way. The results of the research will hopefully give inspiration to poets interested in the form, and more Folding Mirror poems will be created.Image

Folding Mirror Poets Featured on New Poem Forms Image

FMPoetry is proud to see two poets who have created Folding Mirror poems alongside many famous poets in an image on Lewis Turco’s Odd and Invented Forms blog. Caroline Gill and Claire Knight had Folding Mirror poems accepted for the new book of Odd and Invented Forms as examples of the Folding Mirror form.
Both poems were first featured on this site. Caroline Gill’s accepted poem was Thalatta, Thalatta; Claire Knight’s was Hourglass of Time. Thanks again to Lewis, Caroline and Claire for their creativity and time.
Here’s the image that appears on the Odd and Invented forms blog. Viewing it as a clock face, Caroline Gill is at about 5 o’ clock and Claire Knight is at about 9 o’ clock:

Poem Inspired by Nature’s Morning Glory

Morning Rays through trees
Image by Angelrays via Flickr

Today we have a lovely nature folding mirror poem by Jean Knill, who has her own blog and also blogs at Writelink.  The poem is very apt after a sunny early  spring morning.  Here’s Jean’s account of how the poem came to life:

My inspiration for this poem started when I opened the curtains on the French window and sat down at the table next to it to have breakfast.  It was just getting light.  The trees in next door’s garden were dark against the sky, and we could make out some little birds on the high branches.  Later, sitting on top of a double decker bus driving through the Dorset countryside, I marvelled at the colours of the trees and other vegetation we were passing when the sun came out from behind the clouds. 

I wanted to write a folding mirror poem, but some of the words that came to mind were quite lengthy and I couldn’t mirror them in the right place in the other half of the verse.  They were going to make the poem seem lopsided.  So I decided to count syllables instead, as I do when I write haiku.  This poem was the result.

The syllable count is: 5-9-7-5-9-7 (4) 7-9-5-7-9-5

Thanks for explaining the poem Jean, and also for creating and sharing it…and the syllables lesson too.

 Nature’s Kaleidoscope

 In early morning
leafless black branches are silhouettes
against the lightening sky.
Small winged acrobats
swing among the flimsy topmost stems
before  flying off en masse.

 Here comes the sun,

 flames the sky with orange streaks,
climbing higher, turning trees into
a kaleidoscope.
Gold, copper and lime emerge
from dull grey bark until a cloud shroud
melts them off again.