delph_ambi wrote:I stumbled over the title. 'Lorica', as far as I know, means breastplate. So I thought of the thingy we used to sing at school; St Patrick's breastplate. But St Patrick was not Babylonian. There is clearly some knowledge here that I don't have that stops me 'getting' why you've called the poem 'Lorica Babylonian'.
Hi ya Delph
When I returned to Ireland from England back in 1992, The Troubles (Northern Irish Conflict) were still raging. Security checkpoints and grids, army, armed police, infra-red surveillance, informants, Loyalist assassination squads sanctioned by the British Government, an un-caring Irish Government, American interference and funding to buy more weaponry and continue all this shit, were commonplace. It annoyed the hell outta me. I kept thinking 'nowhere else in Europe'... Northern Ireland, like the rest of Ireland is a cool place full of wonderful people from all communities and walks of life.
I was reading a little book that the previous tenant of the apartment I'd rented left behind. There were indeed references to St. Patrick, but according to this book, a lorica was a chanted spell Druids used to cast evil out of someone or somewhere. These chants would also have been used at Harvest times to increase yields...
Prior to my return to Ireland I had lived and worked in the Eastend of London and mixed with many people from different cultures. One of my favourite cultures were West Indians. Frequently while in England I would have heard the Police referred to as 'The Babylon' by West Indians. It always made me laugh.
So. There I was, late Spring / early Summer day, back in Ireland and reading this little book (title escapes me), as an army and police foot patrol passed by outside my livingroom window. I just thought the whole thing was completely bizarre and I viewed it as an expenditure exercise of no use to anyone, British or Irish.
The Ken Loach film; Hidden Agenda
had been released about a year before and told a very intense tale of what was really going on here in Northern Ireland under the right-wing fascist leadership of Margaret Thatcher and her cohorts. My interpretation was that this place (Northern Ireland) was nothing but a training ground for the army and government and that we were all expendible pawns in a sick game...
In a slight haze of hashish I put pen to paper and wrote the words; Lorica and Babylonian (singular to Babylon). I figured a poem that cast the evil out of an armed police state was necessary and the piece poured onto the page from that stream of consciousness...
References to butterflies and butterflying were addressing life in all its splendor. Flower and flowering were used to draw parallels between humanity, procreation and the entire natural way of things. 'All things green a residue' addressing life and ultimately death and rebirth / decomposition / decay and how this is part of nature's cycle. References to chaos were descriptive of my political viewpoints back then which were loosely anarchist.
I have mellowed somewhat with age, but still firmly believe that if any government or power sets itself up with lies or armed forces, then it is against natural progress, life, freedom of expression / speech / thought and must be addressed constantly. I had witnessed cops on the streets of London and Glasgow, without guns, controlling criminality much more effectively in their areas. I reckon I wanted to see regular, unarmed policing here and a chance for peace to flourish... It's a shame that things haven't gone this way and now armed police almost everywhere in the UK and Europe are the 'norm'...
delph_ambi wrote: Onto the poem itself. I see it's a 'work in progress' so I'll make a few suggestions for one or two tweaks.
Number one. Unless you're writing a sonnet or something, or deliberately trying to be archaic, avoid using capitals, except for special effects. Don't use them for starts of sentences in poetry as a general rule, unless you are trying to appear old-fashioned.
I will take this advice and guidance onboard Delph. Thanks mate
delph_ambi wrote: I like the use of rhyme in the opening. Second line is a little awkward. I'd have worded it more simply, ie: like deep snow in summertime.
I like that too Delph
delph_ambi wrote: Third and fourth lines are good. I like the reptition (in/into) which mirrors the repetition of the first line (butterflies/butterflying).
delph_ambi wrote: Second stanza. I would be tempted to remove the full stop after flower altogether, so that the first line reads: flower my love is flowering. Has a flow and some subtle double meanings that way. Your full stop acts as too much of a break, in my view. I like the rest of the stanza, especially the paradox of something being a residue of the future.
Good point on the 'flower / flowering' line. Thanks. Also (see above) and 'residue' which is indeed an observation on the future, although a predictable and wonderful future, governed by the simple need to be forever growing and part of Nature...
delph_ambi wrote: Third stanza, again there's a punctuation overload at the start. Take risks. Drop all those full stops, and the commas. Second line, delete 'a'. Not needed. Third line; if you want to use an ellipse, that's three dots, and you cannot follow it with a comma. Rules is rules. I wouldn't use anything there. I also wouldn't flag up the reaper with quotes and a capital. That's like saying, 'dear reader, you're a bit thick so let me explain who the reaper is'. Last line -- 'ing' words are to be avoided at all costs in poetry unless you absolutely, categorically have to have them (as in the first line). So I'd re-word this as: to police all our trips.
All that you have said here makes perfect sense Delph, except the 'policing' thingy. Where you have exchanged the original last line for 'to police all our trips, I feel it has lost a little bit of impact. What I was trying to address or convey here was the act of deadly policing by force and viewing the police as 'the reaper'... That said, I respect and fully understand the 'ing' words problem, but can't think of a more suitable word lol...
delph_ambi wrote: Put into context, my suggestions (plus a few others I might think of as I go along) look like this:
butterflies are butterflying
like deep snow in the summertime
let me in, into your garden
I want to see you bloom
flower my love is flowering
love is a blade of grass
all things green a residue
of what must come to pass
so love me love me love me
let this chaos take grip
before the reaper comes along
to police all our trips
I like this much more now Delph, but still not sure about that last line. I'm sure we'll work it out though. Thanks
delph_ambi wrote: Right, I've deleted even more punctuation. That's because line breaks, and even more so, stanza breaks, are your punctuation in poetry. Visual 'gaps' are powerful tools, so use them.
I Will explore this as I re-address my writing for here and the website. Cheers for taking the time out to edit this poem. I am really happy with it now Delph
delph_ambi wrote: By the way, this doesn't half remind me of Catullus (which is a massive compliment). It's a lovely poem. And obviously feel free to take all my suggestions with a pinch of salt.
The doctors say I must avoid salt, so that must mean I have to take this guidance to heart. I have and I am genuinely grateful to you mate
delph_ambi wrote: I'd still like you to explain the title though... please.