Poems from the Coast | A Maritime Poetry Series
Yesterday was the birthday of Ireland’s formidable and fearsome pirate Anne Bonny. We just love this notorious rouge so today as part of our ongoing series of poems from the coast here is a poetic ode to the pirate herself by Daniel Wade.
Never, not since the fields of Kinsale
which she fled for the iron broil,
did she let bodice or flame stiffen
her breath: the sea-air was habit-
forming, surplus as tobacco,
the spray salted by aged storms.
Anne Bonny, standing in the place
of rightful execution, glared death
and deponent out of it, her hair a sash
of sea-burnt auburn. Courage belonged
even and especially in the dock,
not that anyone would recognise it.
Here and now, nothing wearied her:
official hows, wheres and whys
had no effect. The governor’s seal
stamped in scarlet wax, the women’s
perfumed outrage in the gallery,
her crewmates’ resigned tears –
nearly absorbed by the tide,
she translated the whisper
of waves into the lean syntax
of her own tongue, dancing hornpipes
on a precipice of fire, pleading
her belly for the sake of parole.
Her final words to you seethe
in your ears, like parting coals:
“Had you fought like a man, you need
not have been hang’d like a dog.”
About Daniel Wade
Daniel Wade is a poet and playwright from Dublin, Ireland. He is a graduate of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology where he studied English and Journalism.
Check out his website danielwadeauthor.com for more.