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Life on the Deckle Edge

Poetry Friday - Family-themed Haiku by Peggy Willis Lyles

 

While preparing my talk for this weekend's Haiku Society of America Spring Conference put on by the Southeast Region, (--who, me? Working on something right up til the last minute?--), I came across a lovely memory from the conference I coordinated two years ago on St. Simon's Island.  We held our meeting at Epworth by the Sea.  As our group walked the grounds on a ginko, we came across a most wonderful surprise - a beautiful large plaque paying tribute to Peggy Willis Lyles (1939-2010) and featuring several of her haiku.  None of our little band knew it was there!  A very special encounter.

 

Just as I was getting serious about haiku myself, our region - and the world - lost one of its brilliant poet-stars to cancer.  And Peggy Willis Lyles was evidently as fine a human being as she was a poet.  (You can read more about her life and work here.)

 

I'm grateful she left so many glorious haiku.  I plan to read a couple of them from this monument in my talk on Saturday, which is called "Reach of a Live Oak - Haiku and our Family Tree."  Click on the image to see larger.  (Below are a couple of the poems which I look forward to sharing on Saturday.)

 

 

lap of waves

my daughter molds a castle 

for her son

 

 

for her mother

bluets

roots and all

 

 

and one of my favorite haiku, ever - one which many people know:

 

I brush

my mother's hair

the sparks

 

 

Take time to seek out more of her work; you'll be richly rewarded.

 

Looking forward to traveling to St. Augustine for the meeting, and catching up with a few favorite poet-friends there, too, including our own Michelle H. Barnes! :0) (Michelle was at our 2017 conference as well - you can read my wrap-up of it, along with more of these haiku from the memorial plaque, here.)

 

Speaking of haiku, for this week's round-up, hop over to Reflections on the Teche, where Margaret shares a fun adventure with her students creating pi-ku.  What's that, you ask?  You'll have to click over to see her clever, outdoors-y assignment!

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Poetry Friday - Narrow Fellows in the Grass...

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

[First, about last Poetry Friday weekend:  apologies if you attempted to visit or leave word at my blog and were stymied.  There was some technical issue, and I couldn't even get to it myself! By Monday the Authors Guild techno-gurus had set all to rights again.]

 

Last week, I and many other PF bloggers seemed smitten with May flowers.  Well, with all this warmth and growth and flora comes the fauna, too - perhaps you have also had the expected encounters with snakes and bugs and salamanders and such?  They've all been active around here!

 

The first snake-y encounter this year was when I lifted the lid of our large recycle container outside, and - plop! - a medium-sized garter snake dropped from just inside the lid to the ground.  I wouldn't want to give away any family secrets, but I was glad that happened to me, and not to my  hubby....

 

I've seen another snake or two while out and about, in the grass or slithering off into a weedy thicket during early evening walks. 

 

A few weeks ago, I had just returned from a road trip and noticed a package on the front steps of the house. At the top of the steps, I picked up the package and turned around, and that's when I noticed Mr.  (Mrs.?) Good-sized Garter Snake, stretched out on the ground the entire length of the steps (four to five feet?) and watching me intently.  I must have stepped right over him/her. 

 

Well, Hello there, I said. I was in a wee predicament.  We keep the front screen doors locked because they don't close securely otherwise, and we have a teeny doggie who loves her daily porch time. So I was at the top of the steps holding my box, with my new friend taking up all room from one end to the other at the bottom step.  Now, as you can tell from the photo, we need to paint the steps, and make some needed outside repairs in general.  I was pondering whether to bail and scale the rail (didja like that?) and leap over the side, wondering if all the wood was good!  Pondering time abruptly halted when said snake slid its head over the bottom step in a rather pointed motion my direction - eyes on me still and tongue flickering in and out - coming up to get better acquainted.  I bailed! All was well. 

 

And time for that wonderful poem by our dear Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), don't you think?

 

 

A narrow Fellow in the Grass (1096)



A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides -
You may have met him? Did you not
His notice instant is -

 

The Grass divides as with a Comb,
A spotted Shaft is seen,
And then it closes at your Feet
And opens further on -

 

He likes a Boggy Acre -
A Floor too cool for Corn -
But when a Boy and Barefoot
I more than once at Noon

 

Have passed I thought a Whip Lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled And was gone -

 

Several of Nature's People
I know, and they know me
I feel for them a transport
Of Cordiality

 

But never met this Fellow
Attended or alone
Without a tighter Breathing
And Zero at the Bone.

 

 

And continuing the theme, here's a little poem I wrote eight or nine years ago, which made an appearance on Tricia's Miss Rumphius Effect site for a challenge back then:

 

 

S

Serpentine S
goes this way and that
Trail in the sand
Tail of a cat

Slithering S
goes that way and this
Starts every snake
Ends every hiss

©Robyn Hood Black
All rights reserved.

 

Watch your step as you make your way over to Elizabeth Steinglass's place, and be sure to give her lots of high fives celebrating her new book, Soccerverse!  (To this day, I can't see a salamander without thinking of the hikes Liz and I took during a Highlights Founders poetry workshop years ago, and all the little red salamanders we saw!)

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Poetry Friday - May Flowers with Louisa May Alcott

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

April showers bring.... :0)

 

     To me the meanest flower that blows can give 

     Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

 

     Wordsworth (1770–1850), Intimations Ode. 

 

[By the way, in case you weren't a nerdy English major like yours truly, "meanest" here means most plain/humble, and "blows" means bloom.]

 

The daisies my hubby planted are bright-faced and happy this week!  I've always loved daisies, probably because my mother does, and I carried them in my wedding.  They're not too fancy, but they hold their own.

 

Did you know Louisa May Alcott's first published book was not about the women in her family, but about flowers and fairies?

 

Flower Fables was published in 1855, a collection written for Ellen Emerson (daughter of Ralph Waldo). These are little morality tales with fancy and poetry mixed in.  Here's a link to the whole work on Project Gutenburg. And here are the opening lines from "Clover-Blossom," which is a few hundred miles long but which might bring to mind The Good Samaritan, The Ugly Duckling, and other cultural/literary references which we can still use healthy doses of!

 

 

Clover-Blossom

 

IN a quiet, pleasant meadow,
Beneath a summer sky,
Where green old trees their branches waved,
And winds went singing by;
Where a little brook went rippling
So musically low,
And passing clouds cast shadows
On the waving grass below;
Where low, sweet notes of brooding birds
Stole out on the fragrant air,
And golden sunlight shone undimmed
On all most fresh and fair;—
There bloomed a lovely sisterhood
Of happy little flowers,
Together in this pleasant home,
Through quiet summer hours.
No rude hand came to gather them,
No chilling winds to blight;
Warm sunbeams smiled on them by day,
And soft dews fell at night.
So here, along the brook-side,
Beneath the green old trees,
The flowers dwelt among their friends,
The sunbeams and the breeze.

 

 ....

 

Yes, the bucolic tranquility gives way to conflict, as you'll see if you click here for the whole poem.  You will likely guess the ending, but you might enjoy anyway!

 

For all kinds of poetry flowery and otherwise, flit on over to our lovely Jama's Alphabet Soup, where Jama and Company have loads of flowers for May Day along with the Roundup!

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Poetry Friday - Celebrate Indie Bookstore Day!

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers! Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day, which you can learn all about here. Now, just reading that sentence, didn't your FAVORITE bookstore (past or present) pop right into your mind?  Where would we be without our beloved indie bookstores?

 

One of my faves here in Beaufort is Nevermore Books, owned by Lorrie and David Anderson.  They started out just off Bay Street in a cozy basement nook of a historic building, shortly after we moved here.  Now they have a bit more elbow room (but still a cool, mysterious vibe) on historic Craven Street.  [I think they moved just to be able to use their tagline, "Look for the Raven on Craven."]  Check out their darkly delightful website here

 

I was hoping to be there in person Saturday but we've had a change of plans for the day.  I've been conjuring up some items to have available there, though, as it's been way too long since I've restocked artsyletters goodies in the shop. My name ended up in the paper for the celebration (Thanks, Lorrie!), so I'll be sure to send along some old and new things, such as the book club gift pack pictured above, fresh out of the creative oven.   

 

Do you have a special bookstore (or five) you'll be dropping in on Saturday? New or used, books are treasures.  I've got a 1997 version (with a 2003 preface) of The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations, edited by Peter Kemp.  In browsing the theme of "Books," I found several quotes reminding me that books haven't always been with us humans, and there could be a time when they are not (but I hope that's not true). 

 

Here's a quote by Martial (A.D. c. 40 - c. 104), apparently written around 84 or 85 A.D., on the codex. The source is Lionel Casson in Libraries in the Ancient World (2001):

 

You want to take my poems wherever you go,

As companions, say, on a trip to some distant land?

Buy this.  It's packed tight into parchment pages, so,

Leave your rolls at home, for this takes just one hand!

 

--Catch a running start on our ancient Roman poet, Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis), at OxfordBibliographies.com .

 

A bit closer to our own time, just a century and a half back, our beloved Emily Dickinson (1830 - 1886) penned one of my favorite poems about books, and I'm guessing it's one of yours, too.

 

 

There is no frigate like a book (1263)


There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away,
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears a Human soul.

 

*Sigh* and *swoon*.  Here's the poem's page at poets.org

 

For more wonderful poetry today, prancing and otherwise, visit the amazing Carol at Beyond Literacy Link.  And keep checking in on the Progressive Poem - Just a few more days and it will be complete!

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Poetry Friday - Wave from Middleton Place and Spring Storm by William Carlos Williams

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

Just a quick wave from Middleton Place today, a former plantation near Charleston and home to the country's oldest landscaped gardens. (Here's a link to learn more: https://www.middletonplace.org/ -- I can't seem to embed links or format type remotely at the moment.)

 

We were able to explore the grounds this morning, ahead of the storms expected this afternoon. Strong winds are already here! There's no snow here, but this poem by William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) seems appropriate for the weather today, and, in a way, appropriate for Good Friday.

 

 

Spring Storm

 

The sky has given over its bitterness.

Out of the dark change

all day long rain falls and falls

as if it would never end.

...

 

For the rest, follow this link: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/spring-storm

 

Here's hoping all are staying safe in this weather! I'm rather late posting today, as I spent all my recent computer time getting out my artsyletters newsletter for Spring.

Click this link if you'd like to see it; and sign up for future ones at artsyletters.com if you like.

 

May storms give way to light and life, and may your weekend be filled with joy!

 

Visit our amazing Amy at The Poem Farm - http://www.poemfarm.amylv.com/2019/04/poetry-friday-poem-19-facts.html -for this week's Roundup.

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2019 KIDLIT Progressive Poem Parks Here Today....

Greetings, Friends!

 

(Hope today is not too TAXing for you...;0) )

 

Welcome to the HALFWAY DAY for the 2019 Kidlit Progressive Poem!  I always look forward to participating in this community creation among the Poetry Friday/Kidlitosphere folks, since Irene Latham started this adventure years ago. Matt Forrest Essenwine  threw the first pitch of a line this year, and so far everyone's followed his "found poem" lead!  (You KNOW I do love me some found poetry!)  The tone has been summery and playful, and we're just now on the cusp of action.

 

My line's backstory:  As the poem has unfolded, I've been tossing around ideas for a song lyric line I might contribute, depending on how the poem arrived at my virtual door.  With the summer theme, I immediately started humming "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley, of The Eagles fame.  I wasn't sure any of those lines would work.  (They didn't.)

 

But I still wanted to go an Eagles route if possible, especially since Christie just added a Steve Miller line from "Fly Like an Eagle." (That's how our poets' minds work, right??) Nowadays I don't think of The Eagles without thinking of poetry, because two years ago, when I was fortunate enough to celebrate Lee Bennett Hopkins's induction into the Florida Arts Hall of Fame, one of the other four inductees was original Eagles band member Don Felder.  He grew up in Gainesville and has four GRAMMYs under his belt. (Still with me??)

 

So, I thought a Don Felder song might work.  His "Hotel California" came out in 1976, when I was a Florida girl of 13, making it part of the soundtrack of my teenage years. "On a dark, desert highway..." - Yeah, none of those lyrics really worked for the current purpose, 'pink champaign on ice' and all.  Even out of context, I couldn't find a kid-friendly one!

 

Still, I wanted to find a Don Felder line.... A little internet sleuthing, and I came across a song from the soundtrack of The Slugger's Wife (1985)  Remember that movie?  Neither do I. Anyway, I found a comPLETEly inappropriate-for-us song called "Wild Life," co-written by Felder and Mark Jordan. 

 

But it had a line I couldn't resist, because the day I am actually writing this post (Sunday) I have been watching a little golf. Unless you've given up contact with the outside world for Lent, you probably know there was a bit of excitment at the 18th hole of The Masters Tournament.  We lived in Augusta for nine years and both my babies were born there, so it will always have an azalea-lined pull for me, especially this time of year.  Enough of all that - I couldn't help myself!  Here goes:

 

 

Endless summer; I can see for miles…
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles.
No time for school- just time to play,
we swim the laughin' sea each and every day.


You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today.
Kodachrome greens, dazzling blue,
it's the chance of a lifetime,

 

make it last forever–ready? Set? Let's Go!
Come, we'll take a walk, the sun is shining down
Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eyes
Tomorrow's here. It's called today.

 

Gonna get me a piece o' the sky.

I wanna fly like an eagle, to the sea

and there's a tiger in my veins

 

 

 

Found Lines:

 

L1 The Who, 'I Can See for Miles' / The Beach Boys, 'Endless Summer'
L2 The Beach Boys, 'Fun, Fun, Fun' / Dean Martin, 'When You're Smiling'
L3 The Jamies, 'Summertime, Summertime'
L4 The Doors 'Summer's Almost Gone'/ Led Zeppelin 'Good Times, Bad Times'
L5 Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine "You had only to rise, lean from your window,"
L6 Joni Mitchell, "Chelsea Morning"
L7 Paul Simon, "Kodachrome," "Dazzling Blue"
L8 Dan Fogelberg, "Run for the Roses"
L9 Spice Girls, "Wannabe"/ Will Smith, "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"
L10 The Beatles, "Good Day Sunshine"
L11 The Carpenters, "Top of the World"
L12 Lin-Manuel Miranda, "Underneath the Lovely London Sky" from Mary Poppins Returns

L13 Carole King, "Hi-de-ho (That Old Sweet Roll)"

L14 Steve Miller, "Fly Like An Eagle"

L15 Don Felder, "Wild Life"

 

 

And tomorrow, (drumroll...) it will be the generous and oh-so-creative Carol to taking over at Beyond Literacy Link for the next line.  Onward!

 

----------

 

Below is the whole schedule.  Please forgive me for not making these into links; my website won't automatically convert them from the code Irene provided.  But you can click back to her website at the beginning of this post and navigate them! :0)

 

April

1 Matt @Radio, Rhythm and Rhyme

2 Kat @Kathryn Apel

3 Kimberly @KimberlyHutmacherWrites

4 Jone @DeoWriter

5 Linda @TeacherDance

6 Tara @Going to Walden

7 Ruth @thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown

8 Mary Lee @A Year of Reading

9 Rebecca @Rebecca Herzog

10 Janet F. @Live Your Poem

11 Dani @Doing the Work that Matters

12 Margaret @Reflections on the Teche

13 Doraine @Dori Reads

14 Christie @Wondering and Wandering

15 Robyn @Life on the Deckle Edge

16 Carol @Beyond LiteracyLink

17 Amy @The Poem Farm

18 Linda @A Word Edgewise

19 Heidi @my juicy little universe

20 Buffy @Buffy's Blog

21 Michelle @Michelle Kogan

22 Catherine @Reading to the Core

23 Penny @a penny and her jots

24 Tabatha @The Opposite of Indifference

25 Jan @Bookseestudio

26 Linda @Write Time

27 Sheila @Sheila Renfro

28 Liz @Elizabeth Steinglass

29 Irene @Live Your Poem

30 Donna @Mainely Write

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Poetry Friday - Haiku Poetry Day, the HSA Spring Meeting, and the Santa Maria

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!

 

I love living in a historic town, and this week it's even moreso... a gorgeous replica of the Santa Maria is parked in the neighborhood and open for tours.  (I enjoyed touring a much larger Spanish Galleon in Port Royal a few years ago, too.)

 

If the photo above whets your appetite, you might enjoy this video of the gracious little ship arriving in our bay.  

 

What does any of this have to do with Poetry Month?  Bear with me....  

 

Our little town, Beaufort South Carolina, vies with St. Augustine, Florida (part of my growing-up stomping grounds), as the nation's oldest city.  Well, here's the thing - St. Augustine IS the nation's oldest continually inhabited city, while the Port Royal area of my current fair county was settled first.  Politics, bad manners with the native neighbors, and other factors contributed to its demise, and there was a spell of years before the next settlement got settled.  Of course, all of this jabber refers to European settlement/conquest; there were civilizations here long before "we" arrived, thank you very much. 

 

I've always loved St. Augustine, and I can't wait to make a little trip there next month for the Haiku Society of America's Spring National Meeting, with the theme, "The Eternal Now: Haiku in the Ancient City"!  It's May 17-19.  I'm especially delighted that I'll get to see some Florida poetry friends including our own Michelle Heidenrich Barnes and my pal Stephanie Salkin. (Be sure to check out Michelle's recent post here featuring her honorable mention winning entry in the Triangle/D.C. area Golden Haiku contest; she also shares winning poems by Elizabeth Steinglass and Diane Mayr! CONGRATS all around!) 

 

I am honored that at the St. Augustine meeting, I'll be leading a session.  The historic setting got me thinking about my own history running wild in the woods of Florida, and then about family history, especially with the ancestry research and travel you've all been kind enough to indulge me in this past year or so. I believe haiku can connect us with our own family histories as well as with our corporate human family around the globe.  Both the Florida setting and my Lowcountry SC environs reminded me of this poem I wrote a few years back:

 

 

home again
twists and turns
of the live oak

 

Acorn, Spring 2012

Biscuit Crumbs, HSA SE Anthology, 2018

 

©Robyn Hood Black.  All rights reserved.

 

 

That poem came about before I knew we would be moving to the coast of South Carolina; I wrote it on a trip home to see my folks in Orlando.  But I found it applied, somehow,  after we moved here, too - these live oaks make me feel right at home. 

 

ALL this to say, that haiku is where the title of my session comes from:

 

"Reach of a Live Oak - Haiku and Our Family Tree."  I'm enjoying putting my talk/workshop together!

 

The conference will also feature Michael Henry Lee, Southeast Coordinator & Host (& one of my favorite poets!); the Coquina Haiku Circle of St. Augustine, helping to host; HSA President Fay Aoyagi; Stanford M. Forrester (Sekiro); Antoinette Libro; and Tom Painting.  A fun outing or two are in the works as well!  For a detailed schedule, please see the Haiku Society of America and click the link, currently on the front page. 

 

(Amazing to think that the original Santa Maria sailed the seas almost 200 years before haiku existed as we know it today, as its own short form championed by Basho in the 1600s.)

 

If you can't make the meeting, be sure to raise a glass and a pen on Wednesday, April 17, for International Haiku Poetry Day!  Click here for more info from The Haiku Foundation. 

 

And enjoy all the wonderfulness to savor this Poetry Month, including our Kidlit Progressive Poem, which lands here on Monday.  (Click that link to see the schedule at founder Irene's blog. Matt started the whole thing off this year as a found poem, and it's been fun to unfold a new found line each day.)

 

Speaking of Irene, who is Speaking of Art again this year for Poetry Month, she has the Roundup today. Thank you, Irene!!

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Poetry Friday - Quick John Adams Quote & Poetry Month Links

 

You will never be alone with a poet in your pocket.

 

John Adams (1735-1826)

 

Letter to John Quincy Adams, 14 May, 1781.

 

Source:  The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations, edited by Peter Kemp (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 1997, 2003).

 

Greetings, Poetry Lovers!  Happy National Poetry Month. 

 

The quote above makes me think of  Poem in Your Pocket Day!  You still have plenty of time to head over to Pomelo Books, where all kinds of poem cards are available to download, use, and share, along with tons of other wonderful resources.

 

Poem in Your Pocket Day is just one of many celebrations in April,  National Poetry Month.

 

Be sure to visit Jama's Alphabet Soup, where Jama is (again!) kindly rounding up Kidlitosphere links for all the special Poetry Month goodness. (As an example, see what Donna's got going on every day this month at Mainely Write!)

 

The 2019 Kidlit Progressive Poem is in full swing - or, full swim.  Find the links for each day over at Progeressive Poem founder Irene's! (I'll post a line here myself on Tax Day, April 15.)

 

Karen Edmisten has our first Poetry Month Roundup! Thanks, Karen. Enjoy the spring harvest of words! 

(Note - I'll catch up later in the weekend, but Friday evening is our Spring Art Walk in downtown Beaufort, so I've got to get my studio in shape today!)

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Poetry Friday - Poetical Wave and Ars Poetica

Greetings, Poetry Lovers -

 

On the road again ( I know!), but I wanted to chime in with a wish for a HAPPY POETRY MONTH which starts on Monday!

 

I came across some lines from Archibald MacLeish's "Ars Poetica" this week, and thought it would be a great poem to revisit, to whet our Poetry Month appetites.  (Ars Poetica simply means "The Art of Poetry." Horace had the original version back in 19 B.C.)

 

Archibald MacLeish was born in 1892 - the same year that clipped text word "POETICAL" above appeared in a Victorian book!

 

 

Ars Poetica


by Archibald MacLeish (1892 - 1982)

 
A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,

 

Dumb

As old medallions to the thumb,

 

Silent as the sleeve-worn stone
Of casement ledges where the moss has grown—

 

A poem should be wordless
As the flight of birds.

 

...

 

Click here for the rest of the poem, especially its famous last line.

 

Continue your poetical jump start with the wonderful Carol, who is appreciating daffodils and rounding up for us over at Carol's Corner.  

Have a great weekend! 

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Poetry Friday - Pirate Plots & Mermaid Musings....

Ahoy there, Poetry Lovers!

 

I missed everyone last week.  I'd sailed off to Atlanta for our SCBWI Southern Breeze Springmingle conference (great to catch up with folks after a little while away!), and when I tried to post a directional sign to Heidi's place, I discovered a website glitch that kept me from posting anything for a few days.  I think they've got it all fixed now.

 

My antique map obsession continues....  I'm keeping a weather eye out, and looks like chilly temps down here are giving way to sunny days, slowly at least.  Time for mermaids and pirates to start jotting down poetry!  Or sketches!  Or "X" marks for treasure! I've been playing in the studio with upcycled journals/sketch books for the those with arabesque-ing swords or finned tails instead of feet.  (You can click on the picture above to see in my Etsy shop; I've taken several of these to the Beaufort Emproium for my wee little table, too. If you want to see more map-craziness, just put the word "map" into my shop's search bar on Etsy - I'll have a bunch more items up by Saturday.)  

 

While I wouldn't care to meet a REAL pirate, thank you very much, I did love Pirates of the Caribbean - the ride at Disney World when I was young, and later, the movies. Old treasure maps have always been on my "favorites" list. And, of course, growing up in Florida, I fancied myself a mermaid on many occasions.

 

Here in the Lowcountry, we did have real pirates back in the day! Click here to read about them - Blackbeard, for one, and women pirates as well as men. 

 

I couldn't find a replica map to purchase that fit the exact years of the waves of piracy (get it? waves?), but I found a wonderful reproduction map of the Southeastern/Carolinas coast from around 1745, and that's what I've been using for these upcycled journals. 

 

Are you a fan of Michael Hague?  One of my favorite of his books is THE BOOK OF PIRATES (HarperCollins, 2001) for its mysterious, spooky, rollicking art.  Inside you'll find classic cut-throat stories from Washington Irving, Robert Louis Stevenson, and many more. 

 

Included is "The Island Come True" from Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (1860-1937), with a few ditties dotting the text. 

 

Here's one:

 

"Yo ho, yo, ho, the pirate life,

the flag o' skull and bones, 

A merry hour, a hempen rope,

And hey for Davey Jones."

 

 

And here are a few opening lines from John Masefield (1878-1967):

 

 

A Ballad of John Silver

 

 

We were schooner-rigged and rakish, with a long and lissome hull,
And we flew the pretty colours of the cross-bones and the skull;
We'd a big black Jolly Roger flapping grimly at the fore,
And we sailed the Spanish Water in the happy days of yore.

 

We'd a long brass gun amidships, like a well-conducted ship,
We had each a brace of pistols and a cutlass at the hip;
It's a point which tells against us, and a fact to be deplored,
But we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

 

...

 

Click here for the whole poem. 

 

And, from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance, which premiered December 31, 1879, a few lines:


 ...

 

(King)

When I sally forth to seek my prey
I help myself in a royal way.
I sink a few more ships, it's true,
Than a well-bred monarch ought to do;
But many a king on a first-class throne,
If he wants to call his crown his own,
Must manage somehow to get through
More dirty work than ever I do,

For I am a Pirate King!
And it is, it is a glorious thing
To be a Pirate King!

For I am a Pirate King!


(Chorus)   

You are!
Hurrah for the Pirate King!

...

 

Click here  for more. 

 

Ever wondered about the difference between a pirate, a privateer, and a buccaneer? The Mariners Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia, has you covered, with these short posts by Brian Whitenton from 2012.  Enjoy Part 1 and Part 2.

 

Now turn that bow toward  Sloth Reads for this week's Poetry Friday Roundup.  (Don't worry; you'll be able to goof off after all your rowing.) ;0)

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