John Masefield's 'Cargoes'

John Masefield (1878-1967)

Does anyone still read Masefield? He was very popular in his own life time. He was the Poet Laureate for over thirty years. He may also be the only poet laureate to have been shanghaied.

But some poems are sufficient unto themselves, and this is one of them. It’s a pleasure to read. And a mini lesson in how to control rhythm.

It’s taken from ‘The Collected Poems of John Masefield’ . The publication details attest to his popularity…first published in 1923, it was reprinted 12 times before 1930, a new and enlarged edition, published in 1932, was reprinted four times before another ‘new and enlarged edition’ was printed in 1938. This was republished twice, the last time in 1942 which is the date of my copy.