Books [Tramp Poet]
“As I grew to love reading, I used to take my books into the fields, into the hills, or if it was raining, into the haymow — anywhere out-of-doors. I'd read, while walking— and I liked walking on grass, or on dirt roads, rather than pavements. I'd lie belly-down in grassy ditches, reading Jack London, or Stevenson, or Scott— or I'd lie on the side of a hill in the sun, until I'd be baked a rusty brown— the sun pouring down on the dog-eared pages. While mother kept me in school, I couldn't actually became a 'Kit' or a 'Treasure Island Jim' — so I began imagining myself as such characters— and the next step was writing about them— a sort of wish fulfillment in the face of lack of real adventure. When I was fourteen, I had written two “novels” — both thrillers and in first person— I was the hero of both, of course— and some buccaneer ballads. “Buccaneer Days” was a ballad written when I was about 14. BUCCANEER DAYS
There were a host of galleons in the wild sea days of yore
Whose spacious holds were heavy-wombed with tons of sunny ore.
Their admirals, primal-hearted men, who cut men's throats with
Wore rainbow sashes round their loins and gold rings in their ears
And for the English buccaneers they kept a weather eye
As the gaunt and savage wolf holds watch for the eagle from the