Sea Fever Essay

1622 words - 6 pages

Sea Fever - speech

Good morning Miss Allison and class, the poem I chose is Sea Fever by
John Masefield. John Masefield, was only 22 years old when he wrote
the simple yet moving lines in his poem 'Sea Fever'. He was born in
1878, in, England. Young Masefield wanted to be a merchant marine
officer and at 13 he spent two and a half years on the school ship and
afterwards was apprenticed aboard a sailing ship, bound for Chile. In
Chile he became ill and left the sea and returned to England. In 1902
Masefield published his first volume of poems, 'Salt-Water Ballads'

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. Sea Fever is a classic, English poem about
the poet’s strong longing to return to the sea. It is a description of
a man who reflects on what his life used to be like when he was a
sailor. In Stanza one, the man yearns to be sailing the oceans once
again. He remembers the solitude and the natural environment around
him, such as the sky, with its stars to guide him in the right
direction, as well as the wind that made his ship shake and its sail
to billow. He also recalls the grey mist of the ocean. In stanza two,
the man describes his yearning in stronger terms, when he describes
the tide of the ocean as ‘a clear call that may not be denied’. The
man also remembers various aspects associated with the sea, such as
the white clouds moving in the sky, the foam and spray, as well as the
sound of the sea gulls. Stanza three is a further description of the
man’s life at the sea. He recalls his life as being similar to the
wandering life of a gypsy. He remembers being at the helm of his ship,
with the wind in his face and having some happy moments with fellow
sailors and laughing over some stories that they told to each other.
He also recalls at his journey’s end having a sound sleep, with
pleasant thoughts about his recent time at sea.

The title "Sea Fever, shows the speakers deep hunger for an
adventurous and free life.

Sea Fever is a narrative poem, written effectively in first person. It
consists of three stanzas, each containing four lines. Sea Fever has a
regular rhyme scheme throughout the poem. Every line of the poem
contains a stirring rhythm. Lines 1 and 2 of each stanza rhyme as well
as lines 3 and 4.

"Sea Fever" may be categorized as a sea chantey due to its iambic
meter, which follows the actions of a tall ship through high seas and
strong wind, this and the natural rhythm gives it a song like quality.

‘’Sea Fever’’ also contains a stirring rhythm consisting of iambic
meter, which suggests the repeated slapping of waves against the bow
of the ship. As a result, John Masefield creates an image of powerful
ocean swells. In addition to the repeated slap of the waves, "the
wheel's kick", in line 3, is a reference to the ship's steering wheel
spinning out of control and...

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