Literary Birthday – 1 June – John Masefield

John Masefield was born 1 June 1878, and died 12 May 1967.


  1. Life, a beauty chased by tragic laughter.
  2. Poetry is a mixture of common sense, which not all have, with an uncommon sense, which very few have.
  3. The distant soul can shake the distant friend’s soul and make the longing felt, over untold miles.
  4. There are few earthly things more beautiful than a university – a place where those who hate ignorance may strive to know, where those who perceive truth may strive to make others see.
  5. The days that make us happy make us wise.
  6. Humans consist of body, mind and imagination. Our bodies are faulty, our minds untrustworthy, but our imagination has made us remarkable.
  7. Men in a ship are always looking up, and men ashore are usually looking down.
  8. Since the printing press came into being, poetry has ceased to be the delight of the whole community of man; it has become the amusement and delight of the few.
  9. Commonplace people dislike tragedy because they dare not suffer and cannot exult.
  10. People who leave their own time out of their work cannot be surprised if their time fails to find them interesting.

John Masefield was an English poet and writer, and Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom from 1930 until his death in 1967. He is the author of the classic children’s novels The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights, and poems, including ‘The Everlasting Mercy’ and ‘Sea-Fever’.

source Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 1st June 2015