Longing for the Sea

August 2, 2009

The Pacific coast near Kalaloch, WA

The Pacific coast near Kalaloch, WA

I grew up in the Midwest, and I didn’t see the ocean until I was almost 20 years old.  I feel a sense of kinship with those poets who understand the pull of the sea.  I especially yearn for the ocean during summer time.

“Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
     — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Secret of the Sea”

Surf on a gray day at Westport

Surf on a gray day at Westport

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 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 a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

2 Responses to “Longing for the Sea”

  1. Barbara Stahler Says:

    I feel the same about the sea. It’s my soul’s home even though I was born and grew up in Minnesota.


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