Monday, April 18, 2011

Sea Fever

by John Masefield

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 gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray 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.

I discovered "Sea Fever" in The Best Loved Poems of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, a compilation that my mom gave me for Christmas many years ago. Caroline Kennedy selected the poems and introduces them with a lovely tribute to her own mother. I've been trying to read a poem every night, and last night I was struck by this one...

It will probably be quite a while before Tom and I are qualified to take up the "vagrant gypsy life" on the open seas, but this weekend we did quite well navigating the wilds of San Diego Bay on our own.

It may or may not have taken us three passes to actually get under the bridge, but once we did, it was worth it.

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