About the Poet and the Poem:
John Edward Masefield was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate from 1930 until 1967. Poems of Masefield were first published in periodicals at the age of 24. His first collection of poems was Salt-Water Ballads. Among his best known works are the children’s novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, and the poems The Everlasting Mercy and Sea Fever.
The poem Sea Fever consists of three quatrains or stanzas having four lines each. The rhyme scheme of the poem is AABB CCDD EEFF. In this poem, Masefield describes his excitement concerning the sea, its fulfilling waves, and adventurous voyages. Its musical verses take readers away on a journey by a tall ship, on the endless, vast sea. This poem appears in Masefield’s first book of verse Salt-Water Ballads.
Analysis of the Poem:
I must go down to the seas again…a grey dawn breaking.
The poem Sea Fever begins with the speaker’s wish to go to the sea. He uses the word ‘must’ to emphasize the need or desire of his going. He talks about going to the “lonely sea” and the sky. It seems without his presence the sea feels lonely. All he asks for is a tall ship to sail through and the star that will act as a direction giver throughout the journey. Then he continues, the “wheel’s kick” (refers to the sound of the ship’s wheel), the “wind’s song” (refers to the sound of blowing wind) and “white sail’s shaking” (refers to how the sail trembles in the wind) is also needed. He also asks for the sea covered with grey mist and the dawn grey color of the sky which is reflected when the sun is just beneath the horizon.
( “সী ফিভার” কবিতাটি বক্তার সমুদ্রে যাওয়ার ইচ্ছা দিয়ে শুরু হয়। তিনি তার যাওয়ার প্রয়োজনীয়তা বা আকাঙ্ক্ষার উপর জোর দেওয়ার জন্য ‘অবশ্যই’ শব্দটি ব্যবহার করেন। তিনি “একাকী সমুদ্র” এবং আকাশে যাওয়ার কথা বলেছেন। মনে হয় তার উপস্থিতি ছাড়া সমুদ্র একাকী বোধ করে। তিনি যা চেয়েছেন তা হল একটি লম্বা জাহাজ যা যাত্রা করার জন্য এবং একটি তারা যা পুরো যাত্রা জুড়ে একটি দিকনির্দেশক হিসাবে কাজ করবে। তারপরে তিনি চালিয়ে যান, “হুইলস কিক” (জাহাজের চাকার শব্দকে বোঝায়), “হাওয়ার গান” (বাতাসের শব্দকে বোঝায়) এবং “সাদা পাল এর কাঁপুনি” (উল্লেখ করে কীভাবে বাতাসে পাল কাঁপে। ) প্রয়োজন। তিনি ধূসর কুয়াশায় আচ্ছাদিত সমুদ্র এবং আকাশের ভোরের ধূসর রঙের জন্যও জিজ্ঞাসা করেন যা সূর্য যখন দিগন্তের ঠিক নীচে থাকে তখন প্রতিফলিত হয়। )
I must down to the seas again…and the sea-gulls crying.
The second stanza begins with a refrain of the phrase “I must go down to the seas again”. It portrays how much the speaker is attracted to the sea whose “running tide” or sea waves are calling him. He mentions the call as wild which cannot be denied. All he asks for is a “windy day” that favors the sailors, and the “white clouds” that fill his heart with peace. Moreover, he asks for the spray of seawater on his face, the sea “spume”, and the crying of seagulls.
( দ্বিতীয় স্তবকটি “আমাকে অবশ্যই আবার সমুদ্রে নামতে হবে” বাক্যাংশ দিয়ে শুরু হয়। এটি চিত্রিত করে যে বক্তা সমুদ্রের প্রতি কতটা আকৃষ্ট যার “চলমান জোয়ার” বা সমুদ্রের ঢেউ তাকে ডাকছে। তিনি ডাকটিকে বন্য বলে উল্লেখ করেছেন যা অস্বীকার করা যায় না। তিনি যা চান তা হল একটি “বাতাসে পূর্ণ দিন” যা নাবিকদের পক্ষে, এবং “সাদা মেঘ” যা তার হৃদয়কে শান্তিতে পূর্ণ করে। তিনি তার মুখে চান সমুদ্রের জলের স্প্রে, সমুদ্রের “ফেনা” এবং সিগালদের কান্না। )
I must down to the seas again…when the long trick’s over.
In the last stanza the speaker says, he must go to the sea again as the sea life as a ‘vagrant gypsy’ fascinates him. He wants to follow the path where the gulls take him with their shrill cries or where the whale swims; where the wind feels like a sharpened knife. He asks for a happy tale told by a laughing “fellow-rover” or wanderer. In the last line, the speaker says that he wants a quiet sleep and a sweet dream after the long journey is over. (Here, “sleep” is a metaphorical reference to death.)
( শেষ স্তবকে বক্তা বলেছেন, তাকে আবার সমুদ্রে যেতে হবে কারণ সমুদ্রের জীবন তাকে ‘ভবঘুরে যাযাবর’ হিসেবে মুগ্ধ করে। তিনি সেই পথটি অনুসরণ করতে চান যেখানে সীগালগুলি তাদের চিৎকারের সাথে তাকে নিয়ে যায় বা যেখানে তিমি সাঁতার কাটে; যেখানে বাতাস একটা ধারালো ছুরির মত মনে হয়। তিনি একটি হাসির “সহগামী নাবিক” বা ভবঘুরে দ্বারা বলা একটি সুখী গল্পের জন্য জিজ্ঞাসা করেন। শেষ লাইনে, বক্তা বলেছেন যে তিনি দীর্ঘ ভ্রমণ শেষ করার পরে একটি শান্ত ঘুম এবং একটি মিষ্টি স্বপ্ন চান। (এখানে, “ঘুম” মৃত্যুর একটি রূপক উল্লেখ।) )
Steer : চলাচলের দিক নিয়ন্ত্রণ করতে ব্যবহার করা হয়
Whetted: তীক্ষ্ণ, ধারালো
Fellow-rover: সহগামী নাবিক
Trick: যাত্রা (এই কবিতায়)
1. Choose the correct alternative to complete the following sentences:
(a) The poet asks for a sail the colour of which would be
(i) blue (ii) grey (iii) black (iv) white
Ans: (iv) white
(b) While going down to the sea, the poet wants to hear the crying of
(i) seagulls (ii) cuckoos (iii) eagles (iv) swallows
Ans: (i) seagulls
(c) The wind on the sea is like a whetted
(i) sword (ii) axe (iii) knife (iv) spear
Ans: (iii) knife
2. State whether the following statements are True or False. Provide sentences/ phrases /words in support of your answer:
(a) To steer the ship the poet needs the moon. False
Supporting Statement: And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
(b) The call of the running tide is wild and clear. True
Supporting Statement: “for the call of the running tide/ Is a wild call and a clear call that may not denied.”
(c) The poet is going out to the sea for the first time. False
Supporting Statement: I must go down to the seas again.
3. Answer the following questions:
(a) During what time of the day does the poet wish to go down to the seas?
Ans. The poet wishes to go down to the seas at the time when the dawn is breaking.
(b) What kind of day does the poet prefer for sailing?
Ans. The poet prefers a windy day with the white clouds flying across the sky for sailing.
(c) What does the poet prefer to hear from a fellow rover?
Ans. The poet prefers to hear a merry yarn from a fellow rover.
Grammar in Use
4. Do as directed:
(a) What a shocking sight! (change into an assertive sentence)
Ans. It is a very shocking sight.
(b) I am sure of his success. (change into a complex sentence)
Ans. I am sure that he will succeed.
(c) Snigdha is not only wise but also brave. (change into a simple sentence)
Ans. Snigdha is wise and brave.
5. Write a summary of the following passage (within 100 words):
Egyptian kings are called Pharaohs. Tutankhamun was an Egyptian king who ruled between 1332-1323 BC. Tutankhamun was very young when he became the king. He was only ten years old when he ascended the throne. He was the son of Akhenaten who was also a Pharaoh. As the king, Tutankhamun undertook many building projects. These building projects were centered around Thebes and Karnak. Tutankhamun built many temples and monuments. At that time many temples were in ruins. Tutankhamun ordered them to be rebuilt. Tutankhamun had various physical disabilities. He suffered from ill health for a long period in his life. Tutankhamun required the support of a cane to walk because of his physical disabilities. In ancient Egypt, the body of a Pharaoh was preserved after his death. This preserved body was known as the mummy. The preserved body of Tutankhamun was discovered by Howard Carter, an Englishman. He discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922. The tomb was nearly intact when it was discovered. The discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb attracted wide interest all over the world. The discovery sparked an interest in ancient Egypt.
- Read the passage several times and underline important lines.
- Using the concept and main points write a brief version of the passage.
- Use indirect narration and avoid exclamation, question, command.
- Write in past tense.
Pharaoh Tutenkhamun, son of Akhenaten, ruled Egypt between 1332-1323 BC. He was only ten when he became the king. He undertook many building projects centered around Thebes and Karnak. Tutankhamun built many temples and monuments and also rebuilt many. Tutankhamun had various physical and health disorders. He suffered from ill health for a long period in his life and always required a support of a cane to walk properly. Tutenkhamun’s body was preserved as a mummy after his death. In 1922, Howard Carter discovered the nearly intact tomb of Tutenkhamun. After the discovery of Tutenkhamun’s tomb, it attracted worldwide and grew great interest in ancient Egypt.
6. Write a newspaper report (within 100 words) on the incident of burglary in a flat in Kolkata using the following points:
date and place – time – occupants of the house – number of robbers – list of articles stolen – police investigation
- Give a short but catchy heading.
- Write “By a Staff Reporter” or “From Our Correspondent”.
- Mention date and place of reporting.
- Write in past form and indirect speech.
BURGLARY STRIKES AT SALT LAKE AREA IN DAYLIGHT
– By a Staff Reporter
Kolkata, 28th November, 2021: A mysterious burglary took place in a flat near Salt Lake yesterday. A three members family lived in that flat. The man and his wife went to their office and their daughter went to college early in the morning. In the afternoon when their daughter returned home she found the door of the flat open. When she went to the room she found the almirah was also open and the locker inside the almirah was broken. She was terrified and called her parents. When her parents returned they checked and found all the ornaments and a huge amount of cash around 2 lakhs missing. They immediately informed the police. Police have started an enquiry. Officer in Charge Mr. Dutta has said that they found some vital clues regarding the case and soon it would be solved. No one is arrested so far.
Extra Comprehension Exercises
1. State whether the following statements are True or False. Provide sentences/phrases/words in support of your answer :
a) The poet asks for white mist on the sea’s face. False
Supporting Statement : “And all I ask is…… a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a gery dawn breaking.”
b) The poet will go to the sea because of the call of the running tide. True
Supporting Statement : “I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide….”
c) The poet wants to celebrate when the long trick’s over. False
Supporting Statement : “And all I ask is……quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.”
2. Choose the correct alternative to complete the following sentences :
a) The poet asks for a ship which would be
i) huge ii) tall iii) small
Ans. ii) tall
b) The poet wants to go to the way of the
i) gull ii) whale iii) gull and whale
Ans. iii) gull and whale
c) The speaker must go down to the lonely
(i) sea (ii) sky (iii) sea and sky
Ans: (iii) sea and sky
3. Answer the following questions:
A. Which things does the poet need for sailing?
Ans. The poet needs for a tall ship and a star as a guide and a windy day with white clouds.
B. Why cannot the poet deny the call of the voyage?
Ans. The poet cannot deny the call of the voyage because the call is wild and clear.
C. What does the poet desire at the end of his exciting voyage?
Ans. The poet desires a cheerful story from a fellow sailor and quiet sleep and sweet dream.