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I’ve lived in Derby for nearly 30 years now; more than half my life, can you believe? I came here by accident really: I got a job in the area and when my children came along, didn’t really want to uproot them from their friends and their familiar environment. Truth is though, I miss my home town of Bournemouth , on the English south coast, and more particularly, I miss living near the sea.

Bournemouth Promenade and Beach Bournemouth Pier

I loved walking along the promenade in all seasons – there’s nothing more exhilerating than watching the winter waves crash onto the beach or basking in the sunshine with the cool breeze wafting in from the sea. And the smell of the sea, not the sewage, but the ozone and pine trees for which Bournemouth is famous!

This poem by John Masefield always makes me nostalgic for the sea and my home town. Enjoy …


Sea-Fever
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 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.


Notes

From SALT-WATER POEMS AND BALLADS, by John Masefield, published by the Maxmillan Co., NY, © 1913, p. 55.

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