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  1. Surrender

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    "Order Prevails At Ludlow" is my only published poem. Since it was written before I learned about non-rhyme techniques for poetry, my focus was on condensing imagery into eight lines, each four of which are a different "scene," in an attempt to follow restrictions on the lushi (a fixed form of poetry) I could understand.

    Blood crusts over prairie where an infant lies
    His mother forever stoic as lawmen torch her tent
    Hot lead crackles as camp becomes inferno, inhaling all sound
    Big Sky silently overlooks the scene: a river turns red

    Spring wind melts stubborn snow from the Rockies
    As families celebrate Easter, and renew in spirit
    Lawmen prepare to offer burning sacrifice on Ludlow field
    While a mother holds her son, pecks his cheek
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    Posted By Medora | Oct 1, 2012
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    MsJacquiiC Poetica Magnifique

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    I can see why this piece would be published. It's a really nice write that reads so effortlessly. So congrats on the publication!

    This piece has an optimistic bent which I simply adore. It's editorial in that your description is so vivid (what I like to call vividry - vivid imagery) that one can almost see the poem take shape. I would say that this piece is a bit all over the place. But this is a good thing, as I see the burning camp ultimately morph into a scene of serenity with a mother holding her son. No doubt in a gesture of protection as order seeks to prevail.

    This is a wonderfully scribed piece of work Poet! Thanks for the share!

    J.


    Posted By MsJacquiiC | Oct 1, 2012
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  3. Surrender

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    Thanks.

    Oh! That reminds me. One of the restrictions I imposed was that the details have to accurately depict the incident (the Ludlow Massacre), which includes the setting. Read the actual report for setting details and chronology. Apparently the camped protesters were celebrating Easter only the day before National Guardsmen turned into thugs by charging in guns blazing (including mounted machine guns). As I said in my previous post, the form I had in mind was lushi, but the writer of the form I had in mind was Du Fu, who was considered a historical poet in that he talked about the plight of the common folk in his poetry. He was not a man of the people (he served amongst royalty and in court at certain points of his life), but was certainly for the people.

    Another critique pointed out that the second to last line gives an ominous contrast to the otherwise pleasant last four lines. I wrestled with that decision for a long time, but I wanted to give that contrast even though no more room was afforded me. Was thinking of giving the imagery of the Guardsmen clanking the ground with their heavy boots as they hurry down hallways and pick up their rifles, but there was not much room to work with, and was too set on including that "burning sacrifice" phrase.


    Posted By Medora | Oct 1, 2012
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    MsJacquiiC Poetica Magnifique

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    The lushi would have been too restrictive -- as far as amount of syllables per line -- for this verse I believe... And wow - I'm not as up on history as I'd like to be - so I'm not familiar with the Ludlow Massacre. Google Queen here... Thank the gods for wikipedia.. So after reading the wikipedia entry - I'm simply astonished at the amount of detail you were able to get in this verse of only 8 lines. You've done a superb job, and your ability to pay such homage to the decedents is admirable.

    And yes - seems Ludlow was a tragedy. I think you'd have paid a disservice to the memory of those who died there if this second to last line wasn't as ominous. And at the end of the day - you have a wonderfully historical write that keeps with the story of America: We may battle, but we do come together as one people in the end!


    Posted By MsJacquiiC | Oct 1, 2012
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  5. Surrender

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    I certainly think labor history is much neglected here in America, even more so than in other Global North countries with a labor party, maybe. And after reading the historian Acuna's Occupied America with examples of even worse tragedies before Ludlow that received less recognition.... Perhaps when I have the time I can make another poem about one of those, too.

    By the way, there is a statue at the Ludlow Massacre site commemorating the victims: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow_Monument I intended to allude to it in the poem, and that is where I got the idea for the mother and her child in the last line.

    Was never able to get a strict syllable count on the lushi, as commentaries I found about lushi form tended to assume the reader is knowledgeable in Mandarin. However, from reading actual lushi poems I found that the word count per line was usually around what I have here. Fortunately, my instructor was not grading based on form, heh.
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    Posted By Medora | Oct 2, 2012
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  6. Depressed

    butchiesmom JPiC Premium VIP Member

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    Ok, here's my dollar's worth of opinion. I didn't know the form of poetry used here, I don't write as much poetry as I once did. Seems my motor-mouth not only includes the spoken word but the written as well. So I'm more likely to write a short story, so to speak, than to compress what I see or feel into a few words but am soooo impressed by them that can.
    I could see the flames, hear the child screaming (blood all around him/her) and feel the panic it must've caused in the first stanza. Then a moment of peace broken by violence in the second. How ironic the attack would take place on a day marked as a day of resurrection.
    Well done, Medora.
    Gail
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    Posted By butchiesmom | Oct 2, 2012
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  7. Surrender

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    Thanks.
    Yeah, I just couldn't pass up the irony of such senseless killings right after the day celebrating Christ's resurrection, and needed to include allusion to that. Relatedly, from my research I found that Guardsmen were intimidating the camped protestors and their families on that Easter day, and seemed eager to show them what they think of them. For example, as said in the report, several recalled that one soldier "told the tent inhabitants to enjoy themselves because the following day the National Guard planned its own 'roast.' Later, these words seemed to the strikers to be evidence of a planned attack" (42). Indeed, reporting on the Massacre, "The National Guard investigative panel starkly concluded that the force 'had ceased to be an army and had become a mob'" (45). Even more incredibly, "A military investigatory commission later concluded... the fire started, the troops spread the blaze: 'Beyond a doubt it was seen to intentionally that the fire should destroy the whole of the colony.'" (45). Which makes all the sadder Senator George S. McGovern's assessment that "It was these dugouts [under the tents] and not the humanitarianism of the militia which saved the union families from possible annihilation, for the colony was mercilessly raked by rifle and machine gun fire during the day" (44). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:1pKOBWBccg8J:www.nps.gov/nhl/Fall08Nominations/ludlow%20final%20draft.pdf &hl=en&gl=us


    Posted By Medora | Oct 2, 2012
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    MsJacquiiC Poetica Magnifique

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    Having read a little bit of the history - it's simply tragic. So thanks for sharing the history of Ludlow with us! And honestly - Your poem could be tattooed on the monument. It's a fitting tribute - an elegy even. And it's interesting re-reading your poem - I still feel this uncanny sense of optimism - though the testimony is obviously regarding a scene of man-made horror or hell as it were....


    Posted By MsJacquiiC | Oct 3, 2012
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  9. Spaced

    LE00EL New Member

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    Enjoyable read, the vividness is astounding.

    [IMG]


    Posted By LE00EL | Oct 31, 2012
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  10. Surrender

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    Thanks.


    Posted By Medora | Nov 1, 2012
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