OTR Celebrates Poetry with John Masefield

Breakwater District, Victoria

Every morning, when I open my e-mails I look for a message from my sister, Sarah, for I know that there will be a poem attached to her cheerful “good morning.” Sarah and I share a belief that our lives are enhanced by poetry. There is an intensity and expression of feelings that comes through the words, rhythm and cadences. Poetry speaks to our soul.

April is National Poetry Month in Canada

April is National Poetry Month in Canada. It is a marvelous celebration of poetry that welcomes us to embrace the beauty of words and the creative spirit that is embedded within the broader narrative of humanity.

Poetry allows us to explore new ideas, revel in the wealth of language and experience a vital connection with poets that spans time and space. We are enriched even as we are challenged by a poet’s message.

This is your invitation to join me in the festivities

Breakwater District, Victoria

We begin with John Masefield who was appointed British poet laureate in 1930. But first he was a merchant seaman, then a worker in a carpet factory before becoming a poet. This is a much abbreviated version of his bio. I am certain he experienced a great deal of adventures before becoming a poet. For John Masefield, the sea captured his imagination and his poetry was influenced by “the call of the running tide.”

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.

Breakwater District, Victoria

4 Replies to “OTR Celebrates Poetry with John Masefield”

  1. This poem is and oldie but a goody, and your recitation, video and photographs are very lovely. The poetry habit you and your sister share is quite wonderful. I don’t live on the sea, but Lake Michigan comes darn close!

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    1. Lake Michigan comes very close – indeed. It has been a long time since I saw those shores! Sea Fever is an oldie but goodie. It has special meaning to me as it was the first poem my son recited as a child in Grade 1. I have recorded Sea Fever several time on OTR, which is why I thought to start this series with that poem. This is my son reciting it as we walked along the eastern side of Britain a few years ago. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Frances in now into her 5 Lynn Austin Book. What a treasure she if finding these books to be. https://ontheroadbookclub.com/2017/08/20/i-must-go-down-to-the-seas-again/

      Liked by 1 person

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