John Masefield


Born
in Ledbury, Herefordshire, England
June 01, 1878

Died
May 12, 1967

Genre


Masefield was born in Ledbury, a rural area in England to George Masefield, a solicitor and Caroline. His mother died giving birth to his sister when Masefield was only 6 and he went to live with his aunt. His father died soon after. After an unhappy education at the King's School in Warwick (now known as Warwick School), where he was a boarder between 1888 and 1891, he left to board the HMS Conway, both to train for a life at sea, and to break his addiction to reading, of which his Aunt thought little. He spent several years aboard this ship and found that he could spend much of his time reading and writing. It was aboard the Conway that Masefield’s love for story-telling grew.

In 1894, Masefield boarded the Gilcruix, destined for Chile. H
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“The days that make us happy make us wise.”
John Masefield

“Life, a beauty chased by tragic laughter.”
John Masefield, King Cole

Sea-fever

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.”
John Masefield, Sea Fever: Selected Poems

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