Sunday, June 1, 2014


You are stranded on a desert isle with only a Stressless recliner and a well-read copy of John Masefield's Salt-Water Ballads. The poem is Sea-Fever.

Stressless recliner, a cure for sea-fever

John Masefield’s life did not begin easily. 

John Masefield, 1916
He was born in 1878 in the West Midlands in Herfordshire. when he was six, his mother died giving birth to a sister. He then went to live with an aunt. His father died soon afterwards of a broken heart. At ten he was sent to a boys’ public school. At thirteen he left for a naval training school aboard the HMS Conway. At sixteen he made his first sea-going voyage on the Gilcruix bound for Chile around Cape Horn. His daily journal recorded his delight in nature’s beauty. 

The experiences of sea-sickness and sunstroke caused him to return to England. A year later he was back at sea, now aboard a windjammer bound for New York. He jumped ship. Odd jobs and a vagrant life. All the while and he was reading and writing. In 1897 he returned to England, published his first poem two years later, and in 1902 Salt-Water Ballads was published containing the poem Sea-Fever

He married the love of his life, Constantine, had two children, a daughter Judith and son Lewis. In 1914, Masefield volunteered for military service as a British orderly in a French hospital and later as an ambulance driver during the Galipolli Campaign. Afterwards he enjoyed a long and happy life, becoming poet-laureate of England in 1930. Tragedy struck again in 1942 when his son Lewis died fighting German troops in North Africa. John Masefield died in 1967. 

Learn more about John Masefield.

Sea Fever by John Masefield
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking, ...
The call of the sea
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying...

Stressless Voyager recliner

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

Grey clouds

The sea beckons all of us who have a hankering to travel, to see new lands to meet new people. What better way to imagine than in a Voyager recliner by Stressless.