Interpretation of "The Seafarer" The seafarer referred to in the poem was a man who believed that life itself was a journey. In the first stanzas of the poem, the seafarer talks about how the sea took him up and swept him back and forth in sorrow, fear, and pain. I believe that this is symbolic of how life takes us up. The author of the poem was a believer in fate and thought that he had no control over his life, just as sailors have no control over their boats in the sea. He too was swept back and forth, subject to the whims of fate in his life.
The speaker in the poem mentions that all pleasures are gone and that everything wonderful in the world has ended. This point brings me to the conclusion that he did not try to control anything in his life but preferred to live in the past in "the age of kingdoms and well found glory."
He did not try to make a name for himself but felt that fate would do it for him. Half of the poem deals with God and the search for spiritual assurance and rest. He had a larger attraction to death than to life for he felt he could attain all things in death.