Poems of the Sea (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets)

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Throughout history, poets have felt the ancient pull of the sea, exploring the full range of mankind's nautical fears, dreams, and longings. The colorful legends of the sea-pirates and mermaids, phantom ships and the sunken city of Atlantis-have inspired as many imaginations as have the realities of lighthouses and shipwrecks, of icebergs and frothing foam and seaweed.


This marvelous collection includes classics old and new, from Homer and Milton to Plath and Merwin. Here are Tennyson's seductive sea-fairies next to Poe's beloved Annabel Lee. Here is Coleridge's darkly brooding "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" alongside the grandeur of Shakespeare's "Full Fathom Five." And here is Masefield's "I must go down to the seas again" alongside Cavafy's "Ithaka" and Stevens's "The Idea of Order at Key West." In the wide variety of lyrics collected here-sonnets and sea chanteys, ballads and hymns and prayers-we feel the encompassing power of our planet's restless waters as metaphor, mystery, and muse.

Table of Contents:


Emily Dickinson, ''Exultation is the going''
Sara Teasdale, Sea Longing
Algernon Charles Swinburne, The Return
D. H. Lawrence, Mana of the Sea
William Carlos Williams, Seafarer
Edna St. Vincent Millay, Exiled
John Masefield, Sea-fever


John Milton, From Paradise Lost, Book VII
George Gordon, Lord Byron, From Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
Percy Bysshe Shelley, From Queen Mab
John Keats, On the Sea
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, The Sea Limits
Christina Rossetti, By the Sea
Charles Baudelaire, Man and Sea
Paul Valéry, The Sea
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Sound of the Sea
Hart Crane, Voyages, II
Slyvia Plath, Full Fathom Five


John Donne, From The Storm
Percy Blythe Shelly, A Vision of the Sea
Victor Hugo, The Beacon in the Storm
May Swenson, A Hurricane at Sea
Arthur Hugh Clough, Qua Cursum Ventus
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, A Calm at Sea
May Swenson, The Even Sea

Anonymous, Sir Patrick Spens
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, From The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sir Humphrey Gilbert
Felicia Hemans, Casabianca
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Wreck of the Hesperus
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Phantom Ship
Anonymous, Trafalgar

William Shakespeare, From The Tempest
Anonymous, We'll Go to Sea No More
Rudyard Kipling, Frankie's Trade
Anonymous, The Death of Admiral Benbow
Anonymous, Hearts of Oak
Anonymous, Davey Jones's Locker
Rudyard Kipling, A Song in Storm
John Masefield, A Pier-head Chorus
W.S. Gilbert, From H.M.S. Pinafore
Noël Coward, Matelot
Anonymous, ''My bounding bark''
Anonymous, Blow the Man Down
Anonymous, Drunken Sailor


James Thomson, Rule, Britannia
Anonymous, From Carmina Gadelica
Herman Melville, Father Mapple's Hymn
George Darley, The Sea Ritual
William Whiting, The Sailors' Hymn

John Milton, From Paradise Lost, Book XI
Homer, From The Odyssey, Book XII
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, From Ulysses
Constantine Cavafy, Ithaka
William Morris, Song of the Argonauts
Anonymous, The Seafarer
Joaquin Miller, Columbus
George Gordon, The Pirate
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Old Ironsides
Archibald MacLeish, Seafarer


W.S. Merwin, The Shipwreck
Thomas Hardy, The Convergence of the Twain
Robert Lowell, The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket
William Meredith, The Wreck of the Thresher


William Shakespeare, From Richard III
Walt Whitman, The World Below the Brine
Thomas Campion, In Praise of Neptune
W.S. Merin, Leviathan
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, The Mermaid
Elinor Wylie, Sea Lullaby
Edgar Allan Poe, Annabel Lee
Edgar Allan Poe, The City in the Sea
Conrad Aiken, Atlantis
Walter de la Mare, Sunk Lyonesse


Herman Melville, The Berg
Herman Melville, The Tuft of Kelp
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Seaweed
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Lighthouse


Robert Frost, Neither Out Far Nor In Deep
Marianne Moore, A Grave
Amy Clampitt, Marine Surface, Low Overcast
Herman Melville, Billy in the Darbies
Waleter de la Mare, Echoes
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ''Break, break, break''
Genevieve Taggard, Sea-change
Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Crossing the Bar
Hart Crane, At Melville's Tomb
Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach
Louise Bogan, Putting to Sea
Emily Dickinson, ''I started early''
Stevie Smith, Not Waving but Drowning
Wallace Stevens, The Idea of Order at Key West
T.S. Eliot, Marina
Walt Whitman, As I Ebb'd with the Ocean of Life

Index of Authors

J. D. McClatchy is the author of five collections of poems: Scenes From Another Life, Stars Principal, The Rest of the Way, Ten Commandments, and Hazmat . He has also written two books of essays: White Paper and Twenty Questions. He has edited many other books, including The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, Poets on Painters , and Horace: The Odes. In addition, he edits The Voice of the Poet series for Random House AudioBooks, and has written seven opera libretti. He is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has taught at Princeton, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins, and is now a professor at Yale, where since 1991 he has edited The Yale Review. He lives in Stonington, Connecticut.

Everyman's Library

Pub Date: October 30, 2001

0.74" H x 6.5" L x 4.46" W

256 pages