"Sea Fever' by John Masefield.

Essay by mck04 August 2005

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John Masefield's poem "Sea Fever" is a work of art that brings beauty to the English language through its use of rhythm, imagery and many complex figures of speech. The meter in "Sea Fever" follows the movement of the tall ship in rough water through its use of iambs and hard hitting spondees. Although written primarily in iambic meter, the meter in "Sea Fever" varies throughout the poem. The imagery in "Sea Fever" suggests an adventurous ocean that appeals to all five senses. Along with an adventurous ocean, "Sea Fever" also sets a mood of freedom through imagery of traveling gypsies. Perhaps, the most complex part of this poem is the use of personification and metaphor. These figures of speech go beyond the meter and imagery to compare life to a sea voyage and portray a strong longing for the sea.

The two main themes of "Sea Fever" bring the reader closer to the sea and help the reader understand why the speaker must return to the sea. "Sea Fever" not only depicts a strong longing for the sea through its theme, but also through use of complex figures of speech, imagery, and meter.

"Sea Fever" is an excellent example of varied meter which follows the actions of a tall ship through high seas and strong wind. Lines one and two contain the common iambic meter found throughout the poem. "Sea Fever" may be categorized as a sea chantey due to its iambic meter and natural rhythm which gives it a song like quality. This song like quality is created through the use of iambic meter and alliteration. For example, lines three and ten contain the repeated consonant sound of the...