John Edward Masefield OM (1 June 1878 – 12 May 1967) was an English poet and novelist, known for the prominence of seafaring themes in his work. He went to sea as a boy, but gave it up before he was twenty; according to one account because he was ironically a martyr to seasickness. He was Poet Laureate from 1930 until his death.
His best-known poem is indubitably "Sea-Fever", which begins:
- 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
Works by John Masefield with their own trope page include:
John Masefield's other works provide examples of:
- All Just a Dream: One of his best-known novels ends this way.
- Direct Line to the Author: Several of his novels imply that their events actually happened. Some (including The Midnight Folk and Odtaa) include references to the author being personally acquainted with their protagonists.
- Double-Meaning Title: Dead Ned is about the life and near-death of a man named Ned, but "Dead Ned" is also the name of a geographical feature that plays a key role in the plot.
- Dressing as the Enemy: A key part of the plot in The Taking of the Gry.
- The Man They Couldn't Hang: The protagonist of Dead Ned and Live and Kicking Ned is convicted of a murder he didn't commit and hanged, but he narrowly survives the experience and goes into hiding until he can clear his name.
- Latin Land: Santa Barbara, briefly mentioned in The Midnight Folk, and shown in more detail in his adult novels Sard Harker, Odtaa, and The Taking of the Gry.
- Pirates: The subject of several of his poems.
- Suicidal Lemmings: They appear in his poem "The Lemmings".Once in a hundred years the Lemmings come
Westward, in search of food, over the snow;
Westward until the salt sea drowns them dumb;
Westward, till all are drowned, those Lemmings go.
- Walk the Plank: In "A Ballad of John Silver"
- The Wild Hunt: In the poem "The Hounds of Hell"