“I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky; and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.” – John Masefield
Born in England on this date in 1878, Masefield not only wrote the line that so many feel compelled to recite, but also “lived” on the sea, which compelled him to write it in the first place.
Beginning at age 14, he was sent to the HMS Conway, both to train for a life at sea and to break what his aunt (with whom he lived) called “an addiction to reading.” She thought he was wasting away his time with his nose buried in books and that time at sea would bring him back to reality. But, after several years aboard ship, Masefield found that he could spend even more time reading and writing, and his love for books and storytelling didn't wane but grew. He listened to the stories told about the sea, continued to read, and ultimately became a great writer and storyteller himself.
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