Avast, ye scurvy dogs! If you are looking for freedom, adventure on the open sea, long work hours, battles, treasure, and a fantastic wardrobe then a pirate’s life is for you. Hygiene is always optional and the cultural jargon can’t be beat. Pack your bags (don’t forget your poet’s blouse) and come aboard. You’re a pirate now.
Although piracy has been in existence for centuries, the Golden Age of piracy took place from the mid 1600’s through the 1730’s. An increase in valuable cargo traveling to and from Europe was the cause of this sea-faring rapaciousness. Many of the most recognizable names in pirating history belong to this era. Sir Henry Morgan was a buccaneer responsible for plundering and destroying Panama in 1671. Captain William Kidd and Sir Francis Drake were privateers who worked for Queen Elizabeth of England. Jean LaFitte was an infamous pirate who lived on the island of Padre, a popular dwelling-place of pirates. There were also a few notable women pirates of the age. Anne Bonny followed in the footsteps of her lover, “Calico Jack” and practiced piracy along the Caribbean Sea. Another famous female pirate, Mary Read disguised herself as a man in 1721 to join the crew of Calico Jack. So you see, there’s plenty of room for everyone.
Pirate Poems: Try It
Pirates Wanted. What skills do you have that would make you a great pirate? What attributes do you bring to the table that would make you an asset to a pirate captain’s ship? This is your chance, write a poem telling the captain why you should be a pirate.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Maureen we enjoyed:
Once upon a time
he was a toddler,
dimpled hands plump.
once upon a time
but then angry, his whip
from a persimmon tree,
the measure of struggle
in a moment of mistakes,
lost in the shucking box,
and with them
all he wanted. Once,
before but also after,
he was someone who needed
and all my life I tried
to save. I couldn’t
but I also do not forget
this image of a father’s hands,
their vulnerability, the weight
of their hooks
tender on my head.
Photo by olle svensson. Creative Commons via Flickr.
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland