Bipolarity and ADHD to Folding Mirrors


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Poems Reflecting on the Mind, Life, Nature and Space
By Marc Latham

ISBN: 9781849912648
Published: 2010
Pages: 108
Key Themes: poetry, bipolar disorder, politics, science


This book of poems owes as much inspiration to rock music as poetry. The early poems in the 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.

In recent years the raw anarchy of the early poems was harnessed within the Folding Mirror form created by Marc Latham; of which there are many examples in this collection. The form may have been influenced by bipolarity, as it calls for two sides of a poem to mirror each other either side of a folding middle line, as bipolar moods swing either side of the fine line of normality somewhere in the mind. It is therefore ideal for highlighting two sides of a personality or mood.

The subject matter and style is not limited to the mind and serious introspection though, and the poems range across almost all the topics imaginable, from politics and myth to ocean depths and the outer limits of space; and the seasons of the year and high mountain peaks to football and comedy.

About the Author

Dr. Marc Latham was born in St. Helier, Jersey in 1965 and now lives in Leeds. Marc spent his teens in Wales and was an avid fan of heavy metal music, he did his utmost to emulate his rock n roll heroes life on the edge once he started boozing and partying. The hedonistic lifestyle was continued across the world in his twenties and in university for his thirties.

This kept him feeling normal while it lasted, but once a couple of generations had pretty much given it up to live normal lives Marc began to realise that he was not really that normal . Being treated as an outsider by a university department in his own country that espoused the values of equality and diversity just brought matters to a head.

Television documentaries alerted Marc to conditions such as ADHD and bipolarity, and he decided to try and take himself out of mainstream society through a freelance writing career. This had always been one ambition anyway.

1 review for Bipolarity and ADHD to Folding Mirrors

  1. Marc Latham (verified owner)

    Caroline Gill review:

    ‘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

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