Thursday, April 2, 2015


image borrowed from


“Damnation seize my soul if I give you quarters,
or take any from you.”--Edward Teach (Blackbeard).

Throughout time pirates roamed the sea;
almost every body of water they did rule--
greed, desperation & opportunity were the key.

Plundering, pillaging, & robbing for all to see,
labeled buccaneers & privateers, but always cruel,
throughout time pirates roamed the sea.

Not all pirates were only men on a spree--
women like Anne Bonny conquered ridicule;
greed, desperation & opportunity were the key.

Sailing in two-deckers, the carrack replaced the galley,
& 74 guns were their most impressive tool--
throughout time pirates roamed the sea.

From Blackbeard to Jean Lafitte, we would agree,
bold murderers were depicted as very cool;
greed, desperation & opportunity were the key.

Somalian pirates operate today as guarantee
that war lords & poverty were added to the pool;
for throughout time pirates roamed the sea,
as greed, desperation & opportunity were the key.

Glenn Buttkus

Posted over at dVerse Poets MTB

Would you like to hear the author read this Villanelle to you?


Scarlet said...

The refrain of greed, desperation & opportunity, captured the character of pirates, past up to present ~ Now I didn't know that there were also women pirates ~ Movies tend to depict them as cool but I wouldn't want to mess up with the pirates ~

Love your work on the villanelle Glenn ~ Happy Easter to you and your family ~


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this a lot. Great rhyme scheme and choice of repeating lines.

Unknown said...

Wonderful. Yes you may have worked like a mule but I am awed. And you picked pirates, Navy man that you are! Greed, desperation, opportunity...I wonder how many things have been born of this. The repeating line just drives, er, sails this excellent work.

Anonymous said...

Very imaginative, and it all ties together very nicely. Well crafted, and yes, the fairer sex was out there pillaging and plundering, too.

Mary said...

I enjoyed the theme & the way you wrote to it...a pirate's life of old seems to have some similarities to the Somali pirates of today... I will have to research Anne Bonny. She must have had a reason to become a pirate, and I wonder what it was.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I think today's pirates are the scariest of all, so many people utterly desperate. You rocked the form!

C.C. said...

I never would have thought of pirates as a topic, but this is the greatest idea for a villanelle and it works brilliantly. I love it!!

Marina Sofia said...

Who'd have thought you could give this a political as well as a historical twist? I can see that everyone has done much more interesting villanelles than me. May have to rethink and revise mine before posting.

Dusty J said...

Very visual, wonderful.

Truedessa said...

ha - Buccaneers - This caught my eye right away. A great theme to work your words around. I do have a thing for the sea and pirate adventures. I imagine in real life it would be scary. Did you happen to see Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if I liked the reading better of the poem better. Regardless, I've done a lot of research on pirates, so I know one of the hardest things to write this, was to cut down to the small amount of information you can convey in this repetitive form.

The Befuddled Flatulent Blogger

grapeling said...

and Wall Street traders. well penned, Glenn ~

Anonymous said...

a great romp through time with pirates...from the classical pirates of history right up to current ones. Your refrain lines consistently worked with your stanzas. Nice!

Anonymous said...

Yep - being a pirate is always a choice.

Roslyn Ross said...

What fun. Cleverly done.

grapeling said...

I much prefer your villanelle to mine. ~