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Lines By Heart: Sea Fever by John Masefield, Part 2

Written by Sinead Nunes, 31st May 2020

Rachael Sumner recites the second half of Sea Fever by John Masefield (started two weeks ago by The Reader's Natalie Kaas-Pontoppidan) - put yourself to the test and see if you can memorise this poem to recite aloud.

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 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.
by John Masefield

This poem really resonates with me as having lived near water all my life, I genuinely feel lost if I am too far inland. The water and the ‘sea’ do call to me and I can understand the determined need to get back there, as we see in this poem. Water signifies escape for me, and freedom!

It is extra special for me, as my Grandad was a seafarer at a time when there was a tradition of reciting poetry and songs and I think he would have loved that I’ve learnt to recite this one!

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