(SHA 6) Move Along Now
#1
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Move Along Now


No more marching for you
darkie, less it's back where you come from.
That ain't coal dust, won't wash off,
it colours everything you done.

Don't matter if you fought at Flanders,
don't matter who died on the Somme,
Palestine, don't matter neither,
best you be careful, mind your tongue.

Listen to the crowds all cheering,
this whole country knows the score.
Don't matter how you served with honour
boy, this was a White Man's War.

(
Victory Parade, London, July 1919)




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#2
(07-16-2019, 08:10 PM)Knot Wrote:  .
Move Along


No more marching for you  consider bringing "darkie" up to this line, emphasis of end-line similar to start- and more natural
darkie, less it's back where you come from.
That ain't coal dust, won't wash off,
it colours everything you done.

Don't matter if you fought at Flanders, should be "in" rather than "at," unless you're making the point the speaker is ignorant of the geography himself
don't matter who died on the Somme,
Palestine, don't matter neither,
best you be careful, mind your tongue. going deeper into character and avoiding repeated "you," consider "best be careful, boy, mind..."

Listen to the crowds all cheering,
this whole country knows the score.  The next two lines are a non-sequitur unless you, for example, change this one to "but this country knows the score" or the like.
Don't matter how you served with honour
boy, this was a White Man's War.  To avoid repetition of "boy" if you took the suggestion from previous stanza, something even more intense here... "n*****" is unusable but would be in character, so perhaps "tar-baby" or "tarbrush."

(
Victory Parade, London, July 1919)

I'm having a little difficulty with the tone/character/culture of the speaker juxtaposed with location.  To me, the voice is southern-white USA of that time rather than (except for the reference to coal) lower-class British/Welsh.  I can picture a southern-culture American - to include Woodrow Wilson - in London for the parade having these thoughts, though a "class act" racist like Wilson would have used standard grammar, even silently.

Other than that - and it's kind of an overall problem, unless I'm mistaken and someone from the British Isles would talk as well as think that way - this is effective and interestingly done.  It makes the point (among others) that the Great War did not make Europeans feel bad about themselves the way World War II did - at least it did that for me.
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#3
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Hi duke,

thanks for the read and the crit.
Interesting how you hear N as an American, wasn't intended as such (though perhaps 'boy' pushes one that way?) I'm reasonably confident
with the voice, and absolutely certain that the attitudes represented here were held (and of course still are) by people in this country.

I'm in two minds about 'at/in Flanders' and am wondering if the difference is a Brit/US thing?

going deeper into character and avoiding repeated "you," consider "best be careful, boy, mind..."

Here we'd say 'you'd best be careful ...' but it stumbles rhythmically (to me). We generally wouldn't use 'boy' like that (at least I don't think
so) - but I used it in the final line as a insulting contrast to Man. We did like to infantalise and demean.


The next two lines are a non-sequitur unless you, for example, change this one to "but this country knows the score" or the like.
Not following you here.


In 1919, in London, the were two main victory parades, one in July the other for Dominion Troops in May. In neither parade was there anyone
who wasn't white. The 'Dominion' Troops allowed to march were those from Canada, Australia/NZ and (white) South Africa only, no one else. Including all thoseblack/coloured British born soldiers (see George Tull, and Arthur Roberts - the BBC had a program on the latter recently
which occasioned this). If you look a pictures of the parades, as well as the vast, yet orderly, crowds, stationed along the route at regular
intervals are policeman.  This piece is my imagining one of those bobbies refusing a veteran the opportunity to join the march.

This, from a newspaper article in 2002, is what I was trying to capture.
"Enthusiasm for the battle was widespread across the Caribbean. While some declared it a white man's war, leaders and thinkers such as the Jamaican Marcus Garvey said that young men from the islands should fight with the British in order to prove their loyalty and to be treated as equals."




Thanks again.


Best, Knot


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#4
On the question of "at," "in," or "on," and passing over the possibility of a speaker's mistake about what kind of place it was, my impression of the usual preposition is,

"at" - a specific location,
"in" - a general area (or something which is a container and you're inside it),
"on" - something one-dimensional, a line like a river, border, or railroad.

So a soldier might fight "at" Gettysburg, "in" the Shenandoah Valley or the trenches of Petersburg, and "on" the James River.  "In" would also work for a time-limited or collective event ("in" the Battle of Winchester).  For the Great War, it's "at Verdun," "on the Somme," and "in Flanders."  Of course it could also be a contraction, "at [the Second Battle of] the Somme." 

If British usage is different, it certainly wouldn't be the first time.  When serving aboard a warship, British usage is apparently "in HMS Revenge" (no "the") while  American is "on [the] USS Independence."  Presumably Americans think of the deck while British think of the interior spaces.  Maybe it's the weather (g).
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#5
(07-16-2019, 08:10 PM)Knot Wrote:  Move Along


No more marching for you
darkie, less it's back where you come from.
That ain't coal dust, won't wash off,
it colours everything you done.

Don't matter if you fought at Flanders,
don't matter who died on the Somme,
Palestine, don't matter neither,
best you be careful, mind your tongue.

Listen to the crowds all cheering,
this whole country knows the score.
Don't matter how you served with honour
boy, this was a White Man's War.

(
Victory Parade, London, July 1919)

Building of some of Duke's crit...
The voice does have a distinct Southern USA sound (except for the use of "darkie" and English spellings). This, however, does really take away from the poem, IMO. I subconsciously ignored your parenthetical, so that might be away. It certainly doesn't come across as and English voice. I know you're in intensive here, but the poem is very straightforward and doesn't make me want to dig into it. Everything I want to read in this poem happens in the first five lines and one additional ("this whole country..."). I do wish there are more critique I could offer, but the rest of the poem feels like filler.

Also, I can't look at SHA and not think Secure Hash Algorithm. Maybe that's just my work encroaching on my perception, but is it really necessary to denote all the accounts within the thread title?
If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.

"Or, if a poet writes a poem, then immediately commits suicide (as any decent poet should)..." -- Erthona
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#6
i like lots about this, some of the places set the story though i think some of the language veered away from the point you were making via the usa and that diluted it a little.

Move Along


No more marching for you
darkie, less it's back where you come from. for me darkie is such a strong word in this context it needs it's own line, or move to the line above.
That ain't coal dust, won't wash off,
it colours everything you done.

Don't matter if you fought at Flanders,
don't matter who died on the Somme,
Palestine, don't matter neither, i don't find "blackie" synonymous with palestine even though some may have fought there.
best you be careful, mind your tongue. for me an english person wouldn't talk this way

Listen to the crowds all cheering,
this whole country knows the score.
Don't matter how you served with honour
boy, this was a White Man's War. again, this feels deep south in the usa

(Victory Parade, London, July 1919)
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#7
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Hi duke.


The distinction you draw between "at" Gettysburg, "in" the Shenandoah Valley is the same one I'm making here, only the battle and the territory have the same name. Presumably one might say that
one fought 'at' Gettysburg, which simultaneously talk of being 'in' (the town of) Gettysburg ?


Presumably Americans think of the deck while British think of the interior spaces. Maybe it's the weather (g).
Got to be the weather. Smile


______________



Hi UB, billy
thanks for the crit(s).

You both seem to be making similar points, so ...

Does it have a 'Southern' sound because of 'boy'?
The origins of which go back to Middle English: "Used slightingly of young men ... also in familiar or contemptuous use of criminal toughs or men in the armed services." - Which is the usage here.

And UB, re the denotation, maybe not, but if you're prepared to ignore the parenthetical then why not simply ignore them? Smile

for me darkie is such a strong word in this context it needs it's own line, or move to the line above.

Then it becomes a bit too visible, this is my compromise between those two ideas.

i don't find "blackie" synonymous with palestine even though some may have fought there.

I'm not really following you here. Are you saying you did find it synonymous with Flanders or the Somme?

best you be careful, mind your tongue. for me an english person wouldn't talk this way
Probably 'you'd best be careful ...' is more accurate, but I didn't like the rhythm.
It's a racist policeman dismissing a veteran, how would you have him speak?

boy, this was a White Man's War. again,
this feels deep south in the usa
See spoiler to duke (the 'newspaper article').

Would this be better?
Listen to the country cheering.
You think they don't know the score?
Don't matter how you served with honour,
this, this was a White Man's War.


Thanks all.

Best, Knot

(minor change to title)


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#8
If you’re looking to make this all tetrameter, move ‘darkie’ up to the first line.

Being American. This came across as southern US to me, as well. If you leave off the victory parade at the end, each reader will associate it as they will. Not a bad thing.

‘Less’ - maybe les’ to show the t is being left off. Just a nit .
There is no escape from metre; there is only mastery. TS Eliot
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#9
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Hi Seraphim,

thanks for the crit and suggestions.

Best, Knot


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