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John Masefield
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Poet
    (June 1, 1878-May 12, 1967)
    Born in Ledbury, England, United Kingdom
    Wrote the poems ‘Sea Fever,’ ‘The Everlasting Mercy,’ ‘The Widow in the Bye Street,’ ‘The Old Front Line,’ ‘Gallipoli,’ ‘Reynard the Fox,’ ‘Right Royal’ and ‘In Glad Thanksgiving’
    Poet Laureate (1930-67)
    He suffered bouts of depression.
    At age 10, he tried to commit suicide by eating laurel leaves, ‘but only gave myself a horrible headache.’
    Although he was known to the public for his poems about the sea, sea life did not suit him and during his second voyage as a mariner he abandoned ship in New York City.
    He lived as a vagrant for several months before returning to New York City and becoming an assistant bartender.
    He considered himself unworthy of the post of Poet Laureate, but accepted it anyway.
    His mother died when he was six, his father when he was 13.
    He and his wife Constance were married for 58 years until her death.
    Although he was old enough to avoid military service in World War I, he volunteered as a medical orderly.
    He was the last person buried in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.
    His line ‘All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by’ was quoted in Star Trek.

Credit: C. Fishel


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