This is a short note of correction to my previous post, “The Old Canvas Is Almost Gone”: Walter de la Mare might need to “go down to the sea again,” but he was reading John Masefield’s poem, or perhaps singing John Ireland’s setting of it. Russell Malcolm performs it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X82NNkkjSYI . “de la Mare” reminds me of “La Mer,” hence the confusion.
The poem is so perfect that several parodies have been written, and it’s been quoted by everyone from Vin Scully to Capt. Kirk. In Spike Mulligan’s lampoon, the writer has left his clothes at the beach and (to rhyme with “sky”) wonders if they’re dry.