Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Must Go Down to the Sea Again...

Does that line from John Masefield's poem ring any bells in your memory? 

My education was lacking in the memorization of poetry.  But I do remember this poem from Grade 5 or 6. The lines captivated me. I never imagined that I would ever live near the sea, but here I am.

On Saturday night, after a day of work in the yard, and a hearty dinner, Tim and I walked to the marina, about 20 minutes from our home. The moon is almost full and the sky clear. The water - smooth as glass, reflecting the boats tied to their moorings. 

It was also very cold, and a cup of steaming tea was just the thing when we got home. And yet, today, beguiled by the sunshine, we were at the beach again. It was a lonely sea - no boats, just a handle of people. Cold and windy. Tim climbed a big rock ... just because he could. 

Here is the poem - maybe it will trigger memories for you, too.

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.

John Masefield

I'm linking once again to Mosaic Monday, hosted by Mary at the Little Red House.


  1. looks like a postcard. Lovely

  2. My dad used to recite this poem to me when I was a little girl and he was headed off to work. He had a tugboat company that towed log booms from the Fraser River to Ladysmith sawmill.

  3. I have never heard the poem before, Lorrie, but I have heard the call to the sea on countless occasions. Love the pictures . . . how do you do that mosaic thing? I love the way it looks.

  4. I loved that poem as a girl, maybe because we lived by the sea, and I was never happier than when I was in a small boat!

  5. This poem is a favorite of mine Lorrie and your post is beautiful. I grew up just half a block from the ocean in Victoria and I miss the wind, the waves and the beauty of the beach this many years later. I would be at the beach every day if I lived where you do. I love the beach collages you make. Thanks for sharing them!

  6. Good Morning Lorrie,

    You have some of the most beautiful posts--poetic on their own! I love these pics!

    Have a great week!

  7. Love that Tim climbed the rock just because he could. Good idea to keep reminding ourselves of the possibilities.

    This was my Nan's favorite poem and, being from that certain era when poetry memorization was common, she remembered much of it by heart. My grandfather was an amazing source of remembered poetry always quoting great long snatches of this poem and that...lots of Longfellow.

    I just listened to this read by Masefield himself (I think) and it was very stirring.

    So glad that you are enjoying the sea and that it calls you to itself over and over. I think that is what happens when one lives as close as you do.

  8. Perfect poem for the beautiful pictures. What a stunning place at that hour, it's so calm and tranquil!

  9. A lovely poem and such a beautiful moasic. Very elegant and evocative.

  10. 20 minutes for you to walk here?! Oh my! I've seen the ocean and ships only a handful of times and each one was moving to me. Thanks for sharing.

  11. What a lovely mosaic. I love your photo's

  12. Beautiful mosaic!
    The poem I don't remember, but the first line for some reason rang a bell. It reminds me of something an elf might sing in Middle Earth...

  13. Stunning mosaic, love the poem. I have never read it before. Have a wonderful week.

  14. I remember his always strikes a cord in my heart..glad you had a lovely time at the sea..enjoy your week..

  15. I had to memorize this poem in seventh grade, but I had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane!

  16. I always enjoy that poem! And the mosaic...beautiful.

  17. Beautiful photos and such tranquil scenery.

    One of my favourite poems since being at sea with hubby in 1960.


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