Sea Fever Poem Explanation (Critical Analysis), Central Idea & Title

The following article is about the critical analysis (Explanation), central idea and significance of the title of the poem of Sea Fever by John Masefield. The page is divided into three parts. The first part is the explanation of the poem. The second part is the central idea and the third part is the significance of the title. So Let’s begin.

Critical Analysis (Explanation) of Sea Fever

John Masefield’s “Sea Fever” is a poem of adventure. The poet was a sailor in his early life. He had to leave the profession for sickness. But his desire to go back to the sea was strong. The poem expresses the poet’s wanderlust. He finds the call of the sea to be irresistible. He still possesses the desire to know the unknown, to see the unseen and to conquer the unconquered. Once again he wants to enjoy the journey on a sturdy ship over the quiet ship in favourable weather.

Use of Imagery

The use of imagery and personification has made the poem more readable. ‘white sail shaking’, ‘grey mist over the sea’s face’, ‘white cloud flying’, ‘flung spray ‘blown spume’, ‘vagrant gipsy life’ are some examples of imagery used by the poet. The poet wants to convey that human life is like a long voyage and man desires a peaceful existence after death. Reading the poem the readers can understand why the poet has to go back to the sea.

Use of Alliteration

There are several examples of Alliteration in the poem. They give a phonic beauty to the poem. Repetition of ‘W’ in phrases like “the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking” or “gull’s way and whales way where the wind like a whetted knife” is alliterated again and again. Another example of such alliteration is “star to steer her by”

Use of Metaphor

The Sea voyage and the rest at the end of the voyage are examples of Metaphors. Here the poet implies indirectly the unpredictable journey of our life and death at the end of that journey.

Use of Personification

Masefield used a bunch of personifications in the poem. The sea and the ship were personified in the poem. Phrases like ‘sea’s face’ and ‘steer her by’ are two examples of such personifications.

Central Idea of Sea Fever

The central idea of John Masefield‘s “Sea Fever” is strong wander thirst. The poet can hear an irresistible call of the sea and an invitation for adventure and exploration which is unavoidable. The poet wants to enjoy everything related to the sea voyage. Man achieves great joy from travelling and this is conveyed in the poem.

Significance of the Title of Sea Fever

In ‘Sea Fever’ by John Masefield, the poet’s indomitable desire to go to the sea is expressed. Throughout the entire poem, the poet describes what he expects during his voyage. Going on a voyage is a passion for the poet. He can hear the call of the sea which he can not deny. So, he must go on a sea journey again and again. This wild passion for the sea is clearly expressed through the given title. So the title is appropriate.

Thank you for reading the critical analysis (explanation), central idea and significance of the title of the poem Sea Fever by John Masefield. You can also read-


1. What is the message of the poem Sea-Fever?

The main message of the poem Sea Fever is the eternal thirst for a journey.

2. What feeling does John Masefield describe in the poem Sea-Fever?

The eagerness of going out into the unknown world is the main feeling expressed in the poem Sea Fever.

3. What kind of poem is Sea-Fever?

Sea Fever is an allegorical lyric.

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