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Inspiration from the Sea

Updated on May 23, 2014

The Sea- An Inspiration

Why do we love the sea? Is it because it stirs up so many powerful emotions within us? Is it because of it's unlimited power and extreme vastness or simply because of it's incredible beauty? I love the sea for all these reasons.

Here you will find a collection of quotes, poems, pictures, books, and videos about the sea that will inspire you.

Sea Poems- Carl Sanburg

Young Sea - A Poem by Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

THE SEA is never still.

It pounds on the shore

Restless as a young heart,


The sea speaks

And only the stormy hearts

Know what it says:

It is the face

of a rough mother speaking.

The sea is young.

One storm cleans all the hoar

And loosens the age of it.

I hear it laughing, reckless.

They love the sea,

Men who ride on it

And know they will die

Under the salt of it

Let only the young come,

Says the sea.

Let them kiss my face

And hear me.

I am the last word

And I tell

Where storms and stars come from

Read about Carl Sandburg

Sea Poems- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I Spread My Gorgeous Sail- A poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson

I spread my gorgeous sail

Upon a starless sea

And o'er the deep with a chilly gale

My painted bark sailed fast & free -

Old Ocean shook his waves

Beneath the roaring wind,

But the little keel of the mariner braves

The foaming abyss, & the midnight blind.

The ornament darkened overhead,

Below, the surges swelled, -

My bark ran low in the watery bed,

As the tempest breath its course compelled.

I took my silver lyre,

And waked its voice on high; -

The wild blasts were hushed to admire,

And the stars looked out from the charmed sky.

Bear me then, ye wild waters,

To Apollo's Delphian isle,

My name is Music, in Castalie known,

Where bowers of joy the Nine beguile.

Read about Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sea Poems- Thomas Love Peacock

Beyond the Sea- A poem by Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866)

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,

My heart is gone, far, far from me;

And ever on its track will flee

My thoughts, my dreams, beyond the sea.

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,

The swallow wanders fast and free:

Oh, happy bird! were I like thee,

I, too, would fly beyond the sea.

Beyond the sea, beyond the sea,

Are kindly hearts and social glee:

But here for me they may not be;

My heart is gone beyond the sea.

Read about Thomas Love Peacock

Sea Poems- John Masefield

Sea Fever- A Poem by John Masefield (1878-1967)

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.

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.

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.

Read about John Masefield

Sea Poems- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Sound of the Sea- A Poem By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

THE sea awoke at midnight from its sleep,

And round the pebbly beaches far and wide

I heard the first wave of the rising tide

Rush onward with uninterrupted sweep;

A voice out of the silence of the deep,

A sound mysteriously multiplied

As of a cataract from the mountain's side,

Or roar of winds upon a wooded steep.

So comes to us at times, from the unknown

And inaccessible solitudes of being,

The rushing of the sea-tides of the soul;

And inspirations, that we deem our own,

Are some divine foreshadowing and foreseeing

Of things beyond our reason or control.

Sea Poems - Mathew Arnold

Dover Beach - A Poem by Mathew Arnold (1822-1888)

The sea is calm to-night.

The tide is full, the moon lies fair

Upon the straits; on the French coast the light

Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,

Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

Only, from the long line of spray

Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd land,

Listen! you hear the grating roar

Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,

At their return, up the high strand,

Begin, and cease, and then again begin,

With tremulous cadence slow, and bring

The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago

Heard it on the {AE}gean, and it brought

Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow

Of human misery; we

Find also in the sound a thought,

Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith

Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore

Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.

But now I only hear

Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,

Retreating, to the breath

Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear

And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true

To one another! for the world, which seems

To lie before us like a land of dreams,

So various, so beautiful, so new,

Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;

And we are here as on a darkling plain

Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,

Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Sea Poems- Sara Teasdale

By The Sea- A Poem By Sara Teasdale (1884-1933)

Beside an ebbing northern sea

While stars awaken one by one,

We walk together, I and he.

He woos me with an easy grace

That proves him only half sincere;

A light smile flickers on his face.

To him love-making is an art,

And as a flutist plays a flute,

So does he play upon his heart

A music varied to his whim.

He has no use for love of mine,

He would not have me answer him.

To hide my eyes within the night

I watch the changeful lighthouse gleam

Alternately with red and white.

My laughter smites upon my ears,

So one who cries and wakes from sleep

Knows not it is himself he hears.

What if my voice should let him know

The mocking words were all a sham,

And lips that laugh could tremble so?

What if I lost the power to lie,

And he should only hear his name

In one low, broken cry?

Sea Poems - Robert Louis Stevenson

Christmas At Sea - A Poem by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)

The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;

The decks were like a slide, where a seaman scarce could stand;

The wind was a nor'-wester, blowing squally off the sea;

And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.

They heard the suff a-roaring before the break of day;

But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.

We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,

And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.

All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;

All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;

All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,

For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.

We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;

But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard.

So's we saw the cliff and houses and the breakers running high,

And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.

The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;

The good red fires were burning bright in every longshore home;

The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;

And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.

The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;

For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)

This day of our adversity was blessèd Christmas morn,

And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.

O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,

My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;

And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,

Go dancing round the china plates that stand upon the shelves.

And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,

Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;

And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,

To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessèd Christmas Day.

They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.

"All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.

"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate, Jackson, cried.

. . . ."It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.

She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,

And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood;

As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,

We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.

And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,

As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;

But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,

Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.

Sea Poems on - A beautiful selection of sea poem books to add to your collection

Inspirational Sea Quotes

Take a look at this collection of inspirational sea quotes for you to enjoy.

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.

~Vincent Van Gogh Quotes

Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.

~Robert Henri Quotes

The sea is as near as we come to another world.

~Anne Stevenson Quotes

They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea.

~Francis Bacon Quotes

The sea will grant each man new hope, and sleep will bring dreams of home.

~Christopher Columbus Quotes

My soul is full of longing for the secrets of the sea,

and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Quotes

The sea hath no king but God alone.

~Dante Gabriel Rossetti

You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.

~Rabindranath Tagore Quotes

We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came.

~John F. Kennedy Quotes

From one of my favourite Ernest Hemingway books

Old Man and The Sea Quotes

A man can be destroyed but not defeated.

~Ernest Hemingway Quotes from Old Man and The Sea

The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.

~Ernest Hemingway Quotes

Everything about him was old except his eyes and they were the same color as the sea and were cheerful and undefeated.

~Ernest Hemingway Quotes

View this beautiful animation on the Old Man and The Sea- Part 1

View this beautiful animation on the Old Man and The Sea- Part 2

Classic books about the sea


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