From an early age, I knew writing poetry was not to be my strong suit. A grade school assignment kept me and a few others from going outside for recess because we were slow in finishing our poems. Finally, in frustration, my poem’s last line was “Gee, I’m glad I’m done with thee.” I don’t think the teacher appreciated my humor!
I read that April is National Poetry Month, so I was surfing the net to find a suitable poem to tie in with Mystic Seaport’s strong connection to the sea and ongoing and upcoming events on the Museum’s calendar. I liked this poem by John Masefield, Great Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1930-1967.
“I Must Go Down to the Sea”
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 grey 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 quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
You, too, must ‘come down to the sea’ to appreciate the kind of emotions Poet Masefield is expressing. Explore the Charles W. Morgan whaleship and imagine wind in her sails as the captain at the wheel guides her out to sea once more in 2013, a sweet dream come true. When it happens, you will feel a personal connection to that amazing feat.
Visit the Treworgy Planetarium and learn exactly how the stars helped mariners navigate in darkness. Rent a sailboat this summer and ride with the tide down the Mystic river. Listen to a strolling chantey singer telling a nautical yarn through music. Watch the whaleboat demonstration to get a sense of that rugged life at sea. And coming up May 22-23, Tug Blast kicks off Mystic Seaport’s new tugboat exhibit.
So much to do; so much to see; all geared to connect you to the sea. One visit to Mystic Seaport is never enough to do it all and see it all. I’ll bet you, too, will be saying, “I must go down to the seas again”…and you might just feel inspired to write a poem yourself.
Blog written by Trudi Busey