Night is a word for the time when the sun is not creating light on a place; or is night a place at a time when the sun is not creating light? Maybe it’s both. The fifth reflection of the 242 Mirror Poems and Reflectionsbook reflected a poem called Night is a Part of Day that contemplated such thoughts and questions.
Night and Day Thoughts
Hi, it’s WilliamWolfsworth, poetry correspondent at the Greenygrey inspired by legendary Romantic poet William Wordsworth.
Here’s the fifth reflection from Marc Latham’s 242 Mirror Poems and Reflections; I hope you’re not out too late this weekend, but that you’re having a good time if you are; the first part of it follows on from Nepal sunrise memoriesof the previous reflection:
I have welcomed the sunrise
and dreaded it.
On mountains in the dark
the first glimmers of light
are a welcome sight.
On all-nighters when young
the first realisation of light
signalled beginning of end.
They were the same darkness and light
of the same day, which is basically just
the way our planet tilts towards the sun,
but I was in different situations, feeling
different things, on different sides of Earth.
The 121 Reflections in the title of242 Mirror Poems and Reflectionsis a little misleading, as there are much more than 121 really. Yes, you’re getting even better value for money than you might think from Dr. Marc Latham’s super cheap £3.41 Amazon.co.uk, $5.59 Amazon.com poetry collection, which is also available in lots of other countries.
Mirror Poem Reflections
Hi, it’s William Wolfsworth, poetry correspondent at the Greenygrey inspired by legendary Romantic poetWilliam Wordsworth and wolves. The second of 121 poems in Latham’s book is Hopes Rise with the Sun, which was published on the fmpoetry.wordpress.com website in April 2010.
I think it was written in Leeds, sitting at a computer just like I am now, only earlier, before sunrise, six months after first inspiration waiting for sunrise in Namche Bazaar, entrance to the Everest (Sagarmatha) National Park. That was of course recently serialised on the travel25years.wordpress.com website, and the accompanying photo is from that moment.
Anyway, I think I have digressed, or maybe there was just a lot more to introduce than I thought!
Yes, as I was saying in the opening paragraph, there’s a lot more reflections really than 121. In Reflection 2 below there are a few, although they are all to do with narcissism and ego; and how they drive ambition and trying to make a difference.
Ultimately though, Marc seems to think that people can only make a small difference, and for a small amount of people in the grand scheme of human population and world history. That’s in democracies anyway!
That’s not recommending that people don’t try and become important and influential, just that they shouldn’t feel disappointed if they don’t think the world changes much in their lifetime.
That is the message of the final poem, which highlights the insignificance of two famous transporters to the world they existed in; and another type of transport that revolutionised human civilisation 150 years ago, and is still going, but compared to the planet it is still only like a few letters on a sheet of A4 paper: l-i-n-e.
Before that, the thoughts in Reflection 2 were apparently inspired by emerging into the new media world of reality television and WWW writing freedom with a PhD; getting books published, and then trawling the mind for thoughts and reflection.
Hopefully these explanations will help (the director’s cut could be called 484 Mirror Poems, Reflections and Explanations, as there has to be an explanation for each poem and reflection!) understanding, and that you’ll at least be entertained, and maybe even informed, which is what it’s all about!
Narcissism and Ego
I wanted to be famous for being famous, but too late now…?
A little bit of ego allows me to do this, rather than making me do it.
Has my writing and public profile fuelled narcissism, or given it an outlet?
Finding out that you aren’t the centre of other people’s world is a relief, but also a disappointment in some ways, as you wonder why not.
Addressing narcissism should help overcome a depression fuelled by feelings of failure: you can’t change the world, and nature of humanity, so don’t expect too much.
Concorde boomed the sky
but clouds still quietly fly.
Trains carry tons of freight
but the land doesn’t have to wait.
Titanic caused a commotion
but didn’t change the ocean.
Research into animal intelligence is still in its early stages, but has already found that animals have amazing problem solving abilities comparable with a young human. Unfortunately, wolves and dogs didn’t make it into the most intelligent animals, but some cute Nepalese mountain pups did make it onto Marc Latham’stravel25years blog.
Hi, it’s Chris Packwolf, natural world correspondent in the Greenygrey world. I’m delighted to announce that my human parallel Chris Packham presented a fascinating second episode of Inside the Animal Mind. It premiered last night, and is now available on BBCiplayer (just in U.K. I think, so there is a detailed description of the main points below).
I’m even more delighted to announce that greenygrey again made it onto the programme’s cover shot, although it took a more background role this time:
Chris Packham presented amazing footage of animals such as corvids (crow family), parrots and great apes using tools. These animal skills were only discovered in the last fifty years.
The animals have been doing it much longer, it’s just that humanity is only now able to study it.
Animal Intelligence Studies
Although filmed footage of animals using tools has been around for a few decades now, studies into their thought processes and the limits of their skills are still in their early stages and ongoing.
In last night’s documentary, Chris Packham said and showed how the most recent studies have revealed that the most intelligent animals have four brain attributes and skills that were thought to be exclusive to humans half a century ago.
Animal Problem-Solving Skills
Studies giving animals and birds quite intricate problems to solve to reach food, showed:
They understand cause and effect: that filling a bottle with water will make the food inside fall out.
They have flexible thinking: a bird who’d used stones to reach food in one type of study used them differently in another.One bird was shown solving an eight-part test to reach food: using a small stick to release three stones, which when placed in a container released a longer stick, which could reach the food.The greenygrey again stayed in the background, but this time played a different, more natural, role.
Another bird understood that putting stones into a jar filled with water would make the water rise, and that would bring a grub into its reach. The scientist said they didn’t do it if there was no water in the jar, so they understood it only worked by raising the water level; that if there was no water, the stones would just bury the grub.
They use imagination: looking at a problem, imagining how procedures work and then putting them into practise. A cockatoo was shown solving an intricate problem it’d never seen before: in a different way to how it had done it previously. This showed that it had identified difference, and thought up a new solution rather than acting on instinct.
They can mentally time-travel: tests showed that western scrub jays could plan ahead. This was shown in a Big Brother style task with one jay given breakfast in its cage for a week, and another not given breakfast. The latter jay stored five times as much food as the one who expected breakfast, showing that it was thinking in the past and future as well as the present; and as it was a new situation it wasn’t just acting on instinct.
Marc Latham’s latest Folding Mirror poem was written early in November, with some wheezes reminding him of his past asthma, and how it was usually most troublesome as summer passed to autumn and winter.
He was reminded of the poem when watching the Endeavour: Everest trilogy of old documentaries this week. The third one, about the first balloon flight over Everest, was based in Gokyo village, the destination for Marc’s trek. They are available to watch on BBC Online until 22.44 GMT on Monday (unfortunately only in the U.K. I think).
Everest View Poem after Wheezing Asthma
As last year’s asthma passed, Marc appreciated breathing deeply while exercising, and that inspired this poem. That burst of inspiration lasted for five lines of the poem, and then the rest of the poem was created while writing it.
The last time Marc took the asthma inhaler was early in the October 2009 Gokyo-Ri (5,357 m, 17,575 ft above sea level) hike. So the rest of the first half of the poem developed into describing that.
The second half of the poem became one imagining a conversation with Everest, the highest mountain in the world.