Friday, August 7, 2009

Poetry Friday: "Sea Fever"

My lovely author, Kathryn Fitzmaurice sent me the most beautiful surprise this week: a framed copy of the poem, "Sea Fever." She promised I'd relate to the poem after hearing of my wanting to be back at the ocean pretty much the instant I left it, a few weeks back. (And she's right: I love this poem, especially the line about "the grey mist on the sea's face," because those grey days are some of my favorite moments when near the water. I know, I'm weird that way.).

Kathryn's a California girl, so she completely understands the call of the sea, a fact that's evident in wonderful coastal setting of her novel, The Year the Swallows Came Early (which, if you haven't already read it, well, what are you waiting for? Go right now and buy a copy and consider it a summertime gift to yourself!) So without further ado, and thanks to Kathryn, I give you my poem of the week (with bonus Oregon coast photos):

by John Masefield

I must 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 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 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.


  1. That is one of my favorite poems. My dad used to recite that to us. I always loved it.

    No surprise I also love Katherine's Swallows, I guess. She's one classy gal. :)

    Wow, I love your pictures, too. Really nice.