Sea Fever

the-freak-liquid-mountains-of-lake-erie-5__880

Just stumbled across this incredible photography series called Liquid Mountains, by Dave Sandford, of the waves of Lake Erie, which got me thinking of John Masefield’s poem, “Sea Fever”. This poem, originally published in Salt-Water Ballads in 1902, was reissued in 1916 as part of Salt-Water Poems and Ballads (Macmillan), and is a masterful piece of poetic craftsmanship. Consisting of three quatrains of couplets, its superb imagery is driven home with Masefield’s delightful alliteration and rhythm. I have often covered this poem with students in my Lit class, and I still love-love-love it, so I thought I’d share. Enjoy!

Sea Fever

by John Masefield

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s