Friday, December 02, 2005


As you’ve probably gathered, John Masefield is a favourite poet of mine, especially as several of his ballads are about the sea and ships. I don’t think he could ever have imagined the changes that would take place with the English landscape over the past 38 years since his death, particularly the congestion of our roads. In his time he preferred the sea by far and here is his poem ‘Roadways’ that illustrates this point:
ONE road leads to London,
One road leads to Wales,
My road leads me seawards
To the white dipping sails.
One road leads to the river,
And it goes singing slow;
My road leads to shipping,
Where the bronzed sailors go.
Leads me, lures me, calls me
To salt green tossing sea;
A road without earth's road-dust
Is the right road for me.
A wet road heaving, shining,
And wild with seagull's cries,
A mad salt sea-wind blowing
The salt spray in my eyes.
My road calls me, lures me
West, east, south, and north;
Most roads lead men homewards,
My road leads me forth.
To add more miles to the tally
Of grey miles left behind,
In quest of that one beauty
God put me here to find.
John Masefield

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