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Seafaring Limerick Competition 2012

With sailors well renowned for waxing lyrical about their experiences at sea, The Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society embraced this inherent love of linguistic creativity by launching a national limerick competition to find the best seafaring poem in celebration of life at sea.

The inaugural Seafaring Limerick Competition was judged by the Bard of Barnsley and renowned English poet Ian McMillan, ahead of World Poetry Day on 21 March.


Photo courtesy of Kippa Matthews – copyright

McMillan, who is poet-in-residence for English National Opera and a regular on Have I Got News For You? has strong maritime connections, with his father having served in the Royal Navy.

Participants were encouraged to pen a five line poem about the ocean and the men and women who dedicate their lives to working at sea, and all the challenges this entails.

The winning was penned by Maggie Ballinger from Sheffield:

The swell, and the towering wave,
Cover many a seafarer’s grave.
So to land Britain’s dish,
(What are chips, without fish?),
A man must be strong, skilled and brave.

If you like poetry you may also be interested in the Society’s ‘Sunset and Evening Star Vol. 11’, a volume of favourite poems, thoughts and quotations to comfort and inspire.

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