UKArchive

UKArchive ID: 35327

Dalriada
by archiemac
Originally published on August 7, 2015 in Poetry        


More Burns stanzas. My experiments with the Scots language are probably getting more and more incomprehensible.

Dalriada was a medieval kingdom in both Scotland and Ireland. This poem proposes a political union between those two countries, with the capital city on the Isle of Man.


Dalriada

For Mac’s sake, drap this balaclava
bombs guns pikitweer palaver!
Wid ye Picts an Gaels nae rather
be brave battlers
for pikie spreckelt Dalriada,
ye auld rattlers?

This desert in the saul that’s brocht
fou monie a carle in drouthie flocht,
aal shidderin an shammlie-hocht
tae his bullet-rived knees,
this centuries-lang mental fraucht,
maun turn to peace.

An Jock, quit mumpin life’s been hell
sin ye an wifie clanged the bell,
an hou she steals yer ile as well
an the passion’s dried,
git oot the troch an find yersel
anither bride!

A gorgeous fairnytickelt brammer
o a bride wi swords o drama
dertin furth frae eyes that clamour
for a crusade,
wi red hair flowin like a banner
in a stormy parade.

Ye henpeckt daftie, dinnae hark
the clashmaclavers in the dark
that whusper in a scunnersome chark
that ye’ll face ruin,
beseekin in a chattert sark
aince freedom’s brewin.

Howk a tunnel o luve ablow
the Straits o Moyle an say hello
tae Dalriada jyned, aglow.
Naebodie’s Iscariot.
The Scotsman landit lang ago
in an Irish chariot.

Ye’re puffins frae a Celtic egg
baith cled in the same filibeg,
baith drunk frae the same whisky keg,
baith fauch as flooer.
An ah wid howp ye’re baith sae gleg,
ye’ll claucht yer oor.

The croun an kirk dae nocht, be shuir,
but shackle ye tae History’s fluir,
face-doon an machtless as a puir
wee butch-hoose pig.
The sceptre-knife, wi bricht allure,
flisks throu yer rig.

Sae, shovel up the priestly slorach
an ilka stang-tailt pushionous golach
swairmin roond it, wash the cockach
nest o queens
richt doon the sheuch, who reive an connach
sair-won beans.

Build yer caipital among
the tailless cats, sae fechtin’s done,
an Scottish eyes will smile whun
yon Irish mouths
can see the high road, wi nocht sung
o faimins or drouths.

© Archie Macjoyce


© archiemac (gwirionedd on OLD UKA)

UKArchive ID: 35327
Archived comments for Dalriada


Andrea on 08-08-2015
Dalriada
Well…er…um…reet!

Author’s Reply:
Ye dinnae unnerstaund a wird?


Andrea on 08-08-2015
Dalriada
Neet a loot, nah!

Author’s Reply:
I gave a glossary to Mike below. Have a wee peek, and then it might make more sense…


Mikeverdi on 09-08-2015
Dalriada
You've lost me ??? 🙂

Author’s Reply:
Hi Mike, yeah, I imagined that I would lose a lot of people with this one. I can provide a glossary of some of the more obscure Scots words, to give you a better idea:

pikitweer: barbed wire

pikie: prickly

spreckelt: freckled

carle: bloke, chap

drouthie: thirsty

flocht: excitement, stress

shammlie-hocht: knock-kneed

to rive: to tear

fraucht: burden

maun: must

to mump: to complain

ile: oil

fairnytickelt: freckled

brammer: beautiful woman

clashmaclavers: rumours

scunnersome: nasty

chark: noise, din

chattert: torn

sark: shirt

filibeg: tartan

fauch: pale

gleg: clever

to claucht: to seize, grab

nocht: nothing

macht: power

rig: back

slorach: slurry, wet disgusting mess

ilka: every

golach: insect

cockach: cocky, conceited

sheuch: gutter, drain, ditch

to connach: to waste

sair-won: hard-won

drouth: drought


deadpoet on 09-08-2015
Dalriada
I think all poetry should be written in scots. I know a very nice woman who lives on the Isle of Man. She loves living there. Understood a fair deal of this. Extremely lyrical. Love love this R Chi .Glad to have read the teaser though. “Ye’re puffins frae a Celtic egg” Good line

the second last stanza is a puzzle- of course there's a Mac and a Jock and lots of medieval misogyny 🙂

Please keep posting in this lingo.

Pia xx

Author’s Reply:
Ha ha ha! I'm not sure ALL poetry should be written in Scots…

But thanks for the comment, and for the hot author selection! I have one other poem in Scots, the bagel one, and also there is a Scots section in “Welfare State”:

http://ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=35047

Other than these, I don't have any Scots poems. I would like to write some more in Scots, but there needs to be a reason to do so, some kind of link to Scotland.

I have translated a few of my poems into an invented dialect called 'Celtish', which may interest you. I will post them on here, and their English originals, in due course. The English originals will give you the meaning, but Celtish is my attempt at giving an idea of what English might sound like if all the languages and dialects of Britain and Ireland were mixed up together. It's a mixture of English, Welsh, Gaelic, Cornish, Manx, Scots, and a few words from old dialects, mainly Devon, Norfolk and Yorkshire.

Back to this poem though –

I gave Mike a glossary above, so that should help you with anything you don't understand. Although it's interesting that you already understood a lot of this… Clearly there must be similarities between Scots and Danish, partly because of the fact that Scots is closer than English to the other Germanic languages (especially Frisian and Dutch), and partly also because you Danes and Vikings ruled Scotland for some time and left your mark on the language!

Do you see misogyny in this poem? Where?

The penultimate stanza is admittedly particularly puzzling, containing as it does key words that come directly from Gaelic and aren't all reminiscent of anything in English. The glossary should shed some light, or licht, though.

Thanks again for reading!

Archie x


Weefatfella on 18-08-2015
Dalriada
 photo c673dadc-2d28-4407-9a21-a191bcf6d656_zpsp2y54f3y.jpg

Aye! A hard wrought piece right enough. Well done indeed. Worthy of the Alloway Bard hissell.Weefatfella.

Author’s Reply:
Thanks for having a look at this, WFF. As a Scots-speaker yourself, your opinion is very important here. I hope the poem makes sense!


Weefatfella on 18-08-2015
Dalriada
I understood almost every word. Though some I had to think on. Your references to Scots and British history shine through clearly. I like the reference to 1707 and I agree it is time for divorce but to rejoin our long lost Irish cousins.

My Goad! Yid stert a muckle consternations

among a huuner ither nations.

If ever these twa fechtin buggers

jyned up again like arguin brithers

Auld Lizzie's men, noo Morriss dancers.

Wid be seen at last, a shooer ae chancers.

Author’s Reply:
Obviously, both Scotland and Ireland are real nests of vipers when it comes to identity… Catholic/Protestant, Highlander/Lowlander, Republican/Monarchist…

If only the twa buggers wid stop fechtin, wi thesselves as weel as each ither!


stormwolf on 07-11-2015
Dalriada
A masterpiece!!!

Incredible writing. You should send it somewhere. It is incredible that you can write like this and not even a Scotsman youself!!!

This is a real skill and unique achievement IMHO

A'm fair scunnered I canne dae it.

There are some wonderful words in auld Scots and so many of them dying out. When I went to Aberdeen to do my nurse training I used to get so stuck at some of the words from the old farming types using the Doric. I grew to love it very much.

I once stood dumbfounded when I went to give a old man a bath. He told me “Ah lassie, a whiles taks ma semmit aff and ah whiles leaves it oan”

I had to get someone to translate that he sometimes likes to just have a wash and leave his vest on lol.

I used to live across the road from a farm and the farmer was always swearing at his cows. He was a right laugh.

Well one day I went over and he was covered in manure from head to foot. He was ranting and raving “Ah fell in the dubs ma quine, fell right intae the dubs”

Makes me laugh even yet.

Alison x

Author’s Reply:
Phew, so it does make sense then? I had no way of knowing. Actually I emailed it to a Scots Language website, but they didn't publish it. I also sent it to Poetry Scotland magazine, but they said they can't publish my work because I live outside the UK, which is fucking ridiculous. Made me think they just didn't like the poem.

Ah, so “semmit” is vest, “dubs” is mud and “quine” is like “lassie”…

This bloke sounds like a nutter. In a good way. So he fell in the midden?

Thanks for having a look and leaving your opinion, I really appreciate it.

Cheery bye fir the noo,

Archie x


stormwolf on 07-11-2015
Dalriada
Shame on those sites for not posting it! It's very specialised form of writing and they aught to be encouraging it! That was precisely the sort of places I thought would welcome it.

I am not very good at promoting my work but I once wrote a poem about Culloden Battlefield and my ex husband who is very encouraging of my work, persuaded me to send it off to the visitor's centre up there. They wrote back to thank me and said that they were in the middle of renovations but they hoped to have a special part constructed where they would display it and other bits along the same lines. I never went back to see if they had but it would have been great if they did.

He persuaded me to send another poem to the Gordon Highlander's museum in Aberdeen after I write a poem about our old gardener who was an old Gordon Highlander and they thanked me too.

Ach well, there’s now’t stranger than folk that’s for sure.

Here’s the poems for your perusal 🙂

http://ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=25166

http://ukauthors.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=31232

Author’s Reply:
Maybe they thought it was too political. Maybe they were even offended by it.

Reading back over it again today, I realise that the closing reference to the Irish Potato Famine could possibly be taken the wrong way, as though I'm telling the Irish to shut up about it, which is not what I mean at all. What I actually mean is that Rangers fans should stop singing vile mocking songs about it.

Who knows what people will think or be offended by? The national and religious identities of both the Scots and the Irish are mind-bogglingly complicated.

You should go back to Culloden and have a look. And I'll have a wee peek at your poems…


franciman on 08-04-2016
Dalriada
Archie, I'm so glad you referred me to this piece. My humble contribution to my Mither Tongue seems insignificant when placed alongside this.

'An Jock, quit mumpin life’s been hell 

sin ye an wifie clanged the bell, 

an hou she steals yer ile as well 

an the passion’s dried, 

git oot the troch an find yersel 

anither bride!'

Burns would have dined on such nourishment.

Wonderful stuff that needs exposure. The least I can do is nominate it.

Cheers,

Jim

Author’s Reply:
Wow, thanks muchly, mate. I'm glad you liked it. I was worried that I might have been laying on the Scots with a trowel, to the point that it became incomprehensible.

A Sassenach like me cannae really judge these things sae weel!