Today is John Masefield’s birthday! Born on June 1, 1878, he was British poet laureate from 1930 to 1967 beating out Rudyard Kipling who many thought would have been the logical choice. Masefield was the longest serving British poet laureate with the exception of Tennyson.
John Masefield’s classic poem Sea-Fever was the inspiration for our company’s name and philosophy.
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.
Masefield’s life was greatly influenced by his adolescent experiences at sea under sail. While those years were not easy ones, they opened up a vast new world to a young man who had challenging beginnings to say the least. Masefield ultimately lead a life of exploring, learning and creativity and left his mark on the world through his powerful and evocative poetry.
For John Masefield’s biography click here
For a Adobe PDF download of Masefield’s Salt-Water Ballads which includes Sea-Fever, click here.