Harry Kemp

(15 December 1883 – 8 August 1960 / Youngstown, Ohio)

A Sailor's Life Poem by Harry Kemp


Oh, a sailor hasn't much to brag -
An oilskin suit and a dunnage bag.
But, howsoever humble he be,
By the Living God, he has the sea!

The long, white leagues and the foam of it,
And the heart to make a home of it,
On a ship that kicks up waves behind
Through the blazing days and tempests blind.

Oh, a sailor hasn't much to love -
But he has the huge, blue sky above
The everlasting waves around,
That wash with an eternal sound.

So bury me, when I come to die,
Where the full-sailed, heeling clippers ply;
Give up the last cold body of me,
To the only home that I have - the sea!

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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Comments about this poem (A Sailor's Life by Harry Kemp )

  • Rookie Louis Profeta (1/16/2012 12:18:00 PM)

    At its beginning all poetry tells of the ocean's inspiration, also greater is the brown winding path of wood and leaf, brooks that babble and a gentle, unny wind whispering aloof with bird's song. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Louis Profeta (1/16/2012 12:12:00 PM)

    Always wonder the power of the sea in total, seems greater than imagination and so gentle as I swim and strke some feet out from the foamy surf, Dad a US battleship sailor told me respect the sea, a lady you'll do well. (Report) Reply

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