After Sangatte: Based On Sea Fever By John Masefield #poem #poetry

It’s about time I revisited a classic English poem and added a modern spin to it. This one was prompted by the regular tragedies that take place between France and the UK as desperate refugees try and make the short but incredibly dangerous crossing.

After Sangatte

(John Masefield: Sea Fever)

I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,

Where I’ll await their call, fighting fear, holding my head up high.

I set my face, as bland as milk against those hollowed eyes

And think of how we seek a truth, neat-wrapped in hideous lies.

I must down to the seas again, clinging to a long held hope

And cross the spume to the promised land of Keats and Shelley and Pope,

Where bombs don’t fall and guns are quiet and I’ll not have to hide,

Where the men all say I will be safe once we’re away on the tide.

I must go down to the seas again, and put away my fear

And watch and wait in case tonight those I hold most dear

Have by some miracle been spared to reach the Kentish coast

And then perhaps there’ll be some rest for this most restless ghost.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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23 Responses to After Sangatte: Based On Sea Fever By John Masefield #poem #poetry

  1. Darlene says:

    Excellent! Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A compassionate version

    Liked by 2 people

  3. V.M.Sang says:

    I love it. And the poingnant twist at the end, too.
    Sea Fever has long been one of my favourite poems, and you’ve done a great thing with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chel Owens says:

    A lovely take.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful and that ending is so good.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. willowdot21 says:

    Deep , deep grief and sadness.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. arlingwoman says:

    I like the echoes in this and it runs forward like a perfect ribbon to that last line.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. George says:

    A quite brilliant reinvention

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Painful to think about. I have been so obsessed with the heinous treatment of refugees on our southern border that I actually didn’t realize this was happening near you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      It’s awful. Not often but bodies get washed up on both the French and British coasts. I knew understand why they don’t stay in France once they’re there too but the fact is 1000s try and cross illegally what is the busiest water way in the world in crafts designed for swimming pools

      Liked by 1 person

  10. noelleg44 says:

    Good take on one of my favorite poems. You wonder what drives people to take such incredible risks.

    Liked by 1 person

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