Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sea | Wider Sailing | The Love Ditty of an 'eartsick Pirate

I have been looking forward to our sea-themed week for some time now, mainly because it gives me an excuse to link to one of my favourite things that exists. If you have not read this already then you are in for a real treat.

Some while ago now, the multi-talented blogger and poet, Katy Evans-Bush, who is known to many as Baroque in Hackney, contributed a complete re-write of T.S. Eliot's The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, translated into pirate-speak.

It opens thus:

"It’s time we be goin’, me hearty, avast!
When the night’s nailed up its colours to its mast
Like some swab loaded to the gun’les ’n’ lashed to the plank;
Arr, make our way by th’ ghosty ports o’ call,
The bloody Triangle,
Quietin’ the parrots, kippin’ in dens of iniquity,
Where the scraps o’ the earth mixes with the scrapin’s o’ the sea:
Down alleys where ye argues if ye durst:
The forebodin’ of th’ accursed:
An’ all to get ye to the point of a certain little matter …
Nay, never ask what it may be,
There be a gentleman I’d like ye to see."

It is truly spellbinding to see how well this poetic conceit lasts for the entire length of Eliot's rather long poem. Its strength is in the way that Evans-Bush is inventive with both the lexicon and the syntax of the cartoon pirate. To read the entire thing over at Horizon Review, click here.

Phil Brown
Poetry Editor

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