This image is of the clipper ship Sea Witch painted by Charles Vickery, the distinguished American artist of such scenes. I’ve long been an enthusiast of similar work by the English artist, Montague Dawson but I came across this print at an antique show and fell in love with his portrayal of the ship, the sails, and the waves. It personifies John Masefield’s poem, Sea Fever. Masefield, the Poet Laureate of England from 1930 to 1967 actually spent his early years at sea on such ships and was well qualified to write of the sea.

I don’t remember when I first read Sea Fever; grammar school, perhaps, but it had an effect on me that has survived. This post is the result of coming across the poem again last summer. Where? Why, of course, at the shore.

I offer the poem as a narration against a background of surf sounds. I hope you enjoy it.


On this same subject I wrote about a stream of memories of my sea experiences in a 2012 post. I included the words of the poem, and the background music is Debussy’s Dialogue Between the Wind and the Sea from La Mer. Eight years later I find that the post has held up and is still, for me, a moving experience. Please take a look at it by clicking here.


  1. Bonnie Rovere Says:

    I so love this!

  2. Bob Stevens Says:

    Very nice, Ralph. Makes for a beautiful vision of peace.

  3. Kirsten Sessinger Says:

    Its good to see your still writing Dad. And this post, rereading 2012’s is as moving now as it was back then. I love your memories so connected to the sea. Each one etches such a distinctive chord in a lifetime of sea worthy moments. A pretty spectacular life you’ve lead for a pretty spectacular man. Love, K

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