Sea Fever

John Masefield

Sea Fever

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 sails shaking

And the grey mist on the sea's face, and the grey dawn breaking,


I must go down to the seas again, for the calling 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 sea-gulls crying


I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life

To the gulls way and the whales way where the winds 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.

John Masefield

John Masefield was a English poet from the United Kingdom. Along with poetry, he wrote children's books. Both of Masefield's parents died when he was very young, so he lived with his Aunt. In 1894, Masefield took his first voyage at sea to Chile. He recorded his sights in a diary. When he got to Chile, he suffered from sunstroke and returned to Europe. Masefield fell in love with the sea and thus wrote "Sea Fever".
"Sea Fever" by John Masefield (read by Tom O'Bedlam)

Sea Fever

Sea Fever is a poem about someone missing a simpler life and the sea. When they were at the sea, their life was uncomplicated and they want to go back to that lifestyle. The whole poem is in a way an entire daydream, vision, or flashback of a simple lifestyle while in reality his life is stressful or sorrowful. The last line of the poem, "And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over" leads me to believe this connotation. The author, John Masefield, sounds yearnful almost to the point of desperation for this life. All he wants is to go to the sea and live a plain, quiet life. The theme the poet is trying to convey is his urge to get away and return to the peaceful and calming effects of the sea and the sea's inhabitants.
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