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John Masefield

(1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967 / Herefordshire / England)

Quotations

  • ''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.''
    John Masefield (1874-1967), British poet, playwright. "Sea Fever," st. 2, Salt-Water Ballads (1902). The line appears as "I must go down to the seas again ... " in some collections, and in John Ireland's musical setting of the poem; though apparently not in Masefield's drafts, nor in the first published version.
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  • ''Commonplace people dislike tragedy because they dare not suffer and cannot exult.''
    John Masefield (1874-1967), British poet, playwright. The Tragedy of Nan, preface (1908).

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Sea Change

"Goneys an' gullies an' all o' the birds o' the sea
They ain't no birds, not really", said Billy the Dane.
"Not mollies, nor gullies, nor goneys at all", said he,
"But simply the sperrits of mariners livin' again.

"Them birds goin' fishin' is nothin' but the souls o' the drowned,
Souls o' the drowned, an' the kicked as are never no more
An' that there haughty old albatross cruisin' around,
Belike he's Admiral Nelson or Admiral Noah.

[Hata Bildir]