Monday, 6 October 2008

Today´s Poetry

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Sea Fever
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.
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John Masefield (1878 - 1967)
John Masefield was born in Ledbury, Herefordshire, in 1878. He was orphaned at an early age and, after a brief period at the King's School, Warwick, was educated aboard the Liverpool school-ship Conway. As an apprentice, Masefield sailed round Cape Horn in 1894; as a result of sickness, he was classified a Distressed British Sailor upon arrival in Chile.
After convalescence in England he secured a new position in New York. Although he crossed the Atlantic, he never reported for duty. He later noted, "I was going to be a writer, come what might."
After a period of homelessness and vagrancy, bar and factory work in America, Masefield returned to England in 1897. His first published poem appeared in a periodical in 1899. The friendship of W.B. Yeats provided encouragement, and in 1902 Salt-Water Ballads was published. A distinguished literary career followed, with work across a broad range of genres.
Masefield was appointed poet laureate in 1930, and awarded the Order of Merit in 1935. He died in 1967; his ashes are buried in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey.
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If you are interested, you can find more Masefield´s poems here. For more information about his life and work, visit this site or this pages.
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