For centuries, the sea has had a powerful presence in poetry. Both wild and calm, dangerous and beautiful, the sea has always captured our hearts and minds with its magic and mystery. From the infinite deep sea to the seashore, the ocean has evoked compelling imagery touching all the human senses and emotions.
The sea has inspired well-known poets such as Ireland's beloved Seamus Heaney, and American poets Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. Dickinson often wrote about the sea but it's believed she did so from her imagination, having never actually visited the ocean. Other writers who have been captured by the sea's imagery include famous children's writer Lewis Carroll, and Irish poet and much-loved TV presenter Pat Ingoldsby. Poet Robin McNamara, living in Waterford city has also kindly shared his poem The Fisherman for the Marine Institute's Odes to Our Ocean. His poem is about the sacrifice and dangers faced by fishermen who fish the seas off Dunmore East, Co Waterford.
This selection of poems celebrates the power of our seas and oceans as part of Poetry Day Ireland. Download these poems inspired by the sea from the images below.