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Pirate Haiku

A book for Adults

The ship sails avast! I have lost the map, mateys! No shaking booty! Come sail the seven seas aboard the notorious Black Thunder! Landlubbers have a first-mate seat to the grizzly life of 18th century pirates – as told by the surprisingly poetic if salty One-Leg Sterling. Shiver me timbers, never before have we poppets been privy to the gritty goings-on of the rum-running, treasure-thieving, marauding masters of the open sea from the inside out… until now! From trading rum for buxom beauties to fighting that quarrelsome British Navy, Pirate Haiku reveals the swaggering derring-do of these plundering and treacherous buccaneers – 17 syllables at a time!


Check out the Pirate Haiku Video

One Leg Sterling, the famous but slightly incompetent pirate, reads a selection of Haiku from his book, Pirate Haiku.


It’s a book called Pirate Haiku – do you really need an explanation? Ok, it’s also calls itself “Bilge-sucking Poems of Booty, Grog, and Wenches for Scurvy Sea Dogs.” Clear now? Pirate Haiku is exactly that – 185 pages of haikus (one per page) about pirates doing piratey things. And while haiku purists might point out that while the 5-7-5 format remains intact, very few of these poems exhibit the meditative qualities or the kigo generally required in Japanese hai… Wait, what the hell am I saying? This is supposed to be a review of a pirate haiku book, and I’m prattling on about the lack of seasonal references? Who cares, so long as there’s rum and seaborne violence? And Pirate Haiku dishes these up in abundance. There is, in fact, an entire chapter dedicated to rum, and another to wenches. And another, even, to pirates vs. ninjas, which would seem fitting considering the book’s format. As East and West meet form’s purity may waver but rum reigns supreme -Bilgemunky, 2010, summarizing Pirate Haiku is the most smartass way he can muster Pirate Haiku would seem a perfect bathroom reader – something to pick up and grab a random page now and then. But in this it’s misleading because, to my own surprise, Pirate Haiku contains some semblance of a plot. These aren’t random selections, but rather poems with a progression from one to the next. A story is told, references revisited, and in-jokes formed and enjoyed. And this is what sets Pirate Haiku up a notch or two from being a mere collection of silliness. It should be enjoyed from beginning to end and in that order, because at the end of it all there is indeed a madness behind the method.

It's delightfully absurd. And besides, pirates beat ninjas any day of the week.

High Coup Journal

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Pirate Haiku

Pirate Haiku

Pirate Haiku

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Pirate Haiku

by Michael P. Spradlin

is available in the following formats:

Oct 10, 2010


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