The early poems in this collection were inspired by rock lyrics rather than poetry, with songs proclaiming the twisted effects of bipolarity, schizophrenia, paranoia, alienation and just downright depression by the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Metallica, Rose Tattoo, Megadeth and Suicidal Tendencies mixed with the trash escapism of Faster Pussycat and Motley Crue.
I spent my mental weeks in grungy Seattle, so I tried to escape to LA on the weekends. My wild role models could have helped kill me, but they may also have kept me alive by giving me something to live for.
In recent years, after long years in education and learning from quality poets, my poetry has developed and appeared in respected poetry publications.
This book brings together my whole poetry career, and reflecting a lifetime of thought it will hopefully interest and excite you while making you think and laugh.
An example of a folding mirror poem:
thoughts enter mind
think how they’ll be perceived
release them when sure
communicate and wait
watch for their reception
think how they’re being decoded
prepare for response
Caroline Gill Review
‘Let me take you on a journey, to the centre of my mind.’
This reviewer first became acquainted with Dr Marc Latham through his GreenyGrey website, in which he explains how his concept of the GreenyGrey ‘encapsulates the dominant natural colours of the British landscape, with the land predominantly green, and the mountains, rivers, sea and sky usually grey.’ Marc’s early poems in the eBook were inspired by rock lyrics on the subject of bipolarity, schizophrenia, paranoia, alienation and depressive illness.
Marc knew that writing was a definite ambition, but it was his creation of Folding Mirror poems that led to his increasing activity as a published poet. His Folding Mirror pieces are formed around a folding middle line. They reflect aspects of the bipolar moods swings that represent both sides of what Marc describes as ‘the fine line of normality somewhere in the mind’. Football matches (with two sides and two halves), reflections, horizons and equinoxes have all been given the Folding Mirror treatment, along with science, artists (e.g. Constable and Blake) and a host of other subjects.
Early poems, prior to the Folding Mirror ones, demonstrate Marc’s understanding of traditional poetry techniques. The World Beyond Reality, for example, employs rhyming couplets and is structured in quatrains. Other pieces make use of poetic repetition and alliteration: the phrase ‘cirrus castellanus clouds’ occurs in Cloudy Sunset. Pain is a recurring Leitmotif, but Marc is not afraid to explore positive aspects alongside the stark realities. He asserts that he wants to ‘develop’ and ‘seek to grow’, ‘using pain to create’.
Some poems demonstrate the poet’s anger and frustration: others highlight moments of great beauty. Marc has an infectious affinity with the natural world in all its wild and wonderful manifestations. This reviewer’s personal favourite, Swan Summer Serenade, evokes a magical scene:
are raised and lowered
like snakes charmed
in a solar haze...
Marc longs to spread what this reviewer might venture to call his ‘GreenyGrey’ manifesto. He is prepared to communicate his eco-warrior message in unique and arresting ways:
So goodbye Mr. and Mrs. Manatee
it was nice eating you.
(From Nice to Eat You Mr. And Mrs. Manatee)
‘Poetry’, Marc declares, ‘inspires one to learn a little about many things’, and this collection certainly challenges the reader’s perception of what is black and white - and green and grey.
Caroline Gill, 2010
Caroline is a member of Disability Arts Cymru, and has six poems in Hidden Dragons/Gwir a Grymus: New Writing by Disabled People in Wales, ed. Allan Sutherland and Elin ap Hywel (Parthian 2004).
Dr Marc Latham’s websites:
Folding Mirror Poetry http://fmpoetry.wordpress.com/
Date Added: 01/12/2010 by Caroline Gill