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UK Poet Laureate John Masefield - Space And The Mind

Updated on May 3, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Andromeda Galaxy in the Milky Way
Andromeda Galaxy in the Milky Way | Source

Up Equals Down

I have found that the journey into the increasing depths of cyberspace is akin to the journeys into the deepest parts of the oceans of Earth, both of which are akin to the deepening journeys humanity is taking into outer space. This is a three-fold opportunity for exploration and it all is reminiscent of atomic structure - circles and orbiters and fractal equations and other things and cabbages and kings, no less. And it's all adventure.

[Photos this page public domain]
[Photos this page public domain]

The ability to see parallels and patterns is demonstrated by certain testing instruments like the Miller Analogies exam. High scores on this one can indicate a potential for success in architecture or poetry or mental illness. How can one be a success in mental illness? - Not really, but this would represent one's seeing connections that are false or nonexistent. In the extreme, this could be paranoia as well as some conspiracy theory bent. A clear example is Russell Crowe's performance as the math wizard gone mad in A Beautiful Mind. The ability to draw connections can create problems in scientific research as well, because we often want to make connections that really don't exist - some things occurs strictly by chance. It's a source of error, as we say.

Yet any of the three worlds I mention can offer similar journeys, I am convinced of it. To my mind and experience, mathematics, poetry, music, Gene Roddenberry's Genesis II, Stargate Atlantis, deep seas research, the realm of space and time exploration, and technicological advances related to the Internet are all one, on some level.

I once had the chance to perhaps train for a career that would have led me to NASA, but shied away from that. At the time, I was not ready to become a US Marines' electrical engineer. By coincidence and premonition, it seems it could have placed me on a shuttle breaking apart above the Earth, killing everyone inside. Being younger, I had fear then, but not now. If I could have the chance, I would travel to space. Until then, cyberspace and reading and watching deep sea documentaries will do.

UK Poet Laureate John Masefield

Poetry of Air and Water

The poem below, Sea Fever by John Masefield, sums up my thoughts about sea and space travel.

If I could be a long-term part of a colonization operation on the Moon or Mars, I would readily join the space adventure team. As it is, trained astronauts may fly one, a few, or no missions at all. Other jobs are just as important at NASA and private space flight companies, but at this point I would want to "go up."

Drawbacks: The space suits are still uncomfortable, even though better than the 1950s. The tight fitting bit underneath the helmet would drive me mad - like panyhose on your head - but not if I shaved my head and used baby powder or cornstarch. I would not want hair sticking me in the eye, anyway. I can stand anything except my skin sticking to vinyl chairs and hair stuffed into a tight hood as well as my eye. G-forces, floating, disorientation, and heights won't bother me.  

The Milky Way
The Milky Way | Source

Down to the Sea in Ships

Year by year, the sea seems ever more like outer space to me.

There is a majestic quality to both venues. We name dry depressions on the moon, Luna, and dusty craters on Mars after the seas of Earth. It fits.

I would feel the same things represented in this poem, about either the sea or space

Sea Fever

by the UK Poet Laureate John Masefleld

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by. | Source

NASA Missions 2015 - 2050

The International Space Station is a fascinating start to colonizing space. In other work, NASA is in the midst of a 6-year ice mapping campaign surrounding Earth's polar ice caps and adjacent sheets. That could prove to be a very useful project. It's called Operation Ice Bridge.

In order to colonize the Moon and Mars, we need a new Shuttle Fleet and perhaps the help of privatized space travel as well. All that may be 10-20 years into the future, but I would go up. Will there be age limits for space travelers?

That remains to be seen. High blood pressure is not an encouraging space travel recommendation for senior citizens and others that suffer from it. Will private astronauts differ from NASA astronauts, and if so, how?

A group of physicians had an idea to create a medical colony on the Moon in order to treat people with uncontrollable high blood pressure. It might work and it would be fun to start up. Medical laboratories might create compounds unable to be produced in Earth-gravity as well.

Meanwhile, we can keep up to date with the NASA website and webcasts, and access the Mars Society webpage and there's always science fiction and futurist literature.

© 2009 Patty Inglish

Comments and Opinions

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    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Brilliant as always, Patty. I don't think I've read that poem since my school days. Thanks for the memories.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Another great piece. you are gifted in pulling all of it together. Too bad more people don't enjoy poetry.

    • sukhera143 profile image

      sukhera143 8 years ago from Home


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I agree with you Rochelle - I think it is just that.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      Architecture, math, music and poetry-- the ancient Greeks were onto something in their foundations for education.

      These days, budget cuts will knock out the music first,then poetry, maybe architecture or any kind of design.

      I have known physicians who have musical talent and dentists who can carve and sculpt. Maybe the universe is, after all, an elaborate and subtle poem.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Hi Jerilee! - I think I could live on a boat now - all the fresh air and sea smells. Thanks for visiting and posting. :)

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      The call of the sea and outer space, both speak to me. Great hub as always!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      @bohica - Thk you for posting such a wonderful oem. I wish I could write one about space in particualr. I will try. You inspire.

      @Kimberly, we both love that poem.

      @Zsuzsy - Happy Thanksgiving and I am happy you enjoy this page.

      @Don - I wish I could do the artwork myself! Well, I mat have a little time to get out the art supplies again. I'd like to read George Friedman's work soon. Thanks!

    • dusanotes profile image

      dusanotes 8 years ago from Windermere, FL

      Patty, your choice of poets is wonderful. Masefield is a dreamer, but aren't we all. You can almost feel yourself going on a voyage with this man. Say, Patty, I heard the US is going to bomb some of the craters on the moon to see if there's water sufficient to set up a colony, like what you suggested, to help with high blood pressure people. People would actually be able to live in this weightless realm if they had water. One caveat: It has been predicted by Stratfor people that someday the Moon will be home to more than scientific experiments and people living there. The originator of Stratfor, an intelligence-gathering org out of Texas, was George Friedman who wrote a book called The Next 100 Years. I wrote a hub about this called "America Still Ascending In 21st Century:

      I'm not suggesting you go there to build up my viewers, although that would be nice, too, but because there is a definite connection to what you have written. You, by the way, are one of the really great thinkers on Hub Pages. Your graphics are spectacular - no, that's not the word. They are wonderful and very creative. I compliment you for your ability to not only write well, but to put together ideas that most of us would never dream of doing. I'm with you, I do not believe this is a contest to see who can get to one million hubs first. Nor do I think the more hubs you have cobbled together makes you more passive income. Just the opposite, I would think. You have quality presentations and for that I applaud you. Don White

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Patty this new hub of yours just shows again how versatile you are with your writing. You always find different angles to explore.

      once again a great hub.

      hope you're well

      regards Zsuzsy

    • profile image

      lyricsingray 8 years ago

      I loved John's poem, thank you for this Hub, most interesting, Kimberly

    • bohica profile image

      bohica 8 years ago

      I still sail the seas

      I still walk the mid-watch

      I can still smell her

      I hear her moan against the hull

      She fills me in a way that no woman ever can.

      Still she calls and waits for my return.

      In my dreams.

      Thank-you Patty.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I like the way you phrased your post. Great poetry in that. Thanks.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Yes..Inner space and outer space, and then there is the Sea...A calling to a challenge forever in you and me...

      I love the easy, natural way the universe lends itself to poetry...the elements are endless, the questions non-ending, the answers astounding...thank you again, Patty, for another thought-provoking Hub...Larry