English poet and novelist, known for the prominence of seafaring themes in his work. (He went to sea as a boy, but gave it up before he was twenty; according to one account because he was ironically a martyr to seasickness.) Poet Laureate from 1930 to 1967.
His best-known poem is indubitably "Sea-Fever", which begins:
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
As a novelist, he is probably most widely known for his children's fantasy novels, The Midnight Folk and The Box of Delights. The Box of Delights was adapted into a six-part TV miniseries.
John Masefield's works provide examples of:
- All Just a Dream: One of his best-known novels ends this way.
- Flying Broomstick: Used by the witches in The Midnight Folk
- The Highwayman: There's one in the backstory of The Midnight Folk
- Latin Land: Santa Barbara, briefly mentioned in The Midnight Folk, and shown in more detail in his adult novels Sard Harker, ODTAA, and The Taking of the Gry.
- Living Toys: In The Midnight Folk
- Pirates: The subject of several of his poems
- Public Domain Character: King Arthur and his court make a cameo appearance in The Midnight Folk
- Talking Animal: In The Midnight Folk
- Tomboy: Maria in The Box of Delights
- Two Aliases One Character: In The Midnight Folk, Kay's governess Sylvia Daisy and the wicked witch Mrs Pouncer are revealed to be one and the same.
- Walk the Plank: In "A Ballad of John Silver"
- The Wild Hunt