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Bipolarity and ADHD to Folding Mirrors


Bipolarity and ADHD to Folding Mirrors: Poems reflecting on the Mind, Life, Nature and Space
Author: Dr Marc Latham

ISBN: 978-1-84991-023-1
Published: 2009, eBook: 112 pages

Publisher: chipmunkapublishing, the mental health publisher
Price: £5 (pdf download)

‘Let me take you on a journey, to the centre of my mind.’
Marc Latham

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:

Tangerine beaks
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
Date Added: 01/12/2010 by Caroline Gill