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Sea Fever Analysis

Author: poem of John Masefield Type: poem Views: 9

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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 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.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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John Masefield's poem "Sea Fever" is a work of art that brings
beauty to the English language through its use of rhythm, imagery
and many complex figures of speech. The meter in "Sea Fever"
follows the movement of the tall ship in rough water through its
use of iambs and hard hitting spondees. Although written primarily
in iambic meter, the meter in "Sea Fever" varies throughout the
poem. The imagery in "Sea Fever" suggests an adventurous ocean
that appeals to all five senses. Along with an adventurous ocean,
"Sea Fever" also sets a mood of freedom through imagery of
traveling gypsies. Perhaps, the most complex part of this poem is
the use of personification and metaphor. These figures of speech
go beyond the meter and imagery to compare life to a sea voyage and
portray a strong longing for the sea. The two main themes of "Sea
Fever" bring the reader closer to the sea and help the reader
understand why the speaker must return to the sea. "Sea Fever" not
only depicts a strong longing for the sea through its theme, but
also through use of complex figures of speech, imagery, and meter.
"Sea Fever" is an excellent example of varied meter which
follows the actions of a tall ship through high seas and strong
wind. Lines one and two contain the common iambic meter found
throughout the poem. "Sea Fever" may be categorized as a sea
chantey due to its iambic meter and natural rhythm which gives it a
song like quality. This song like quality is created through the
use of iambic meter and alliteration. For example, lines three
and ten contain the repeated consonant sound of the letter "w".
Transcribed by Darth Pikachu Shrimp (Leprechaun Banana Split)

| Posted on 2009-08-03 | by a guest

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