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AS King Can Read Like a Pirate–Can You?

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Ahoy and avast, ye mateys who love a good guffaw! September 19th is Talk Like a Pirate Day, and we library lubbers are styling it Read Like a Pirate Day at Casti. Join in during break and lunch, offer a dramatic reading from your favorite story or poem–but say it in pirate! (“Aaarrg! I do not like green eggs and ham, you scurvy dog!” “You do not like them, so you say, try them. Try them. And you may. Try them or walk the plank, I say!”)

It is time to get your pirate gear ready, because you can come to school in costume. We will be checking out a limited supply of pirate hats Thursday at lunch, on the Circle.

Then, get ready to bring a piratical reading to break or lunch on Friday. On the circle, we are setting up a mic where you can do a dramatic reading to delight one and all. There will be prizes for anyone who reads like a pirate.

“What is a piratical reading?” you might now be asking. Well, it would generally fall into one of three categories:

  1. A passage from a story or a poem about pirates (see AS King’s video, below);
  2. A passage read in a pirate voice; or
  3. A passage that you have translated into Pirate speak (see examples and glossaries below).

Each reading should be short–about 1-2 minutes in length.

For example:

“I’ll not be swabbin’ the decks, not me!”
Said fearsome Gnarly Anne McGee
“I be afeard o’ measles and o’ mumps,
A gash, a rash an’ scurvy bumps.
The water be addled, the grog runs dry
The gangway hit me in me eye!
Them weevils be as big as rocks!
I be countin’ sixteen bloody pox
An’ I spy one more–thar be seventeen,
And, sink me! This sea dog be lookin’ green!”
–Adapted from Shel Silverstein’s “Sick”

Or:

Yo, ho! Me wench’s eyes be darker than the sun;
Blood be redder than her lips;
If masts be white, why then her peg leg be dun;
If hairs be riggings, black riggings grow out of her head.
I don’t be swabbin’ the deck muchly,
But it be cleaner than me lass’ duds;
And in Davy Jones’s locker is there less addle
Than in the breath that from me wench reeks.
I love to hear her blethering, yet I be well aware
That the shanties me mateys sing be lovelier;
Ne’er a mermaid has lured me under;
Me wench when she sails goes by the wind.
    And yet, I swear I’ll be true to that lassie,
    Or ye can make me walk the plank.

–Adapted from Shakespeare’s “My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun” (Sonnet 130)

Should you want some help translating into Pirate speak, here are some glossaries you might find useful:

To get you inspired, here is AS King, author of the forthcoming Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future andPrintz Honor recipient for Please Ignore Vera Dietz, reading from her piratical book The Dust of 100 Dogs.

 

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One Response to “AS King Can Read Like a Pirate–Can You?”

  1. Tasha Bergson-Michelson says:

    “‘ave you e’er seen anything quite as pathetic and bilge-suckin’?” said Malfoy. “And ‘e’s supposed to be our teacher!”
    ‘arry and Ron both made furrrious moves toward Malfoy, but Hermione got there first – SMACK!
    She had slapped Malfoy across the face with all the strength she could muster. Malfoy staggered. Harry, Ron, Crabbe, and Goyle stood flabbergasted as Hermione raised her hand again.
    “Avast! Don’t you dare call Hagrid pathetic you foul—you evil—addled-you poxed”
    “Hermione! Shiver me timbers.” said Ron weakly and he tried to grab her hand as she swung it back.
    “Gangway, Ron!”
    Hermione pulled out her wand. Malfoy stepped backward. Crabbe and Goyle looked at him for instructions, mighty bewildered.
    “C’mon,” Malfoy muttered, and in a moment, all three of them had disappeared into the passageway to the dungeons.
    “Blimey, Hermione!” Ron said again, sounding both stunned and impressed.”
    ―Adapted by Athena N. ’19 J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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