Seven Seas

A celebration of the sea in poetry and painting

The Seven Seas

Voyages in Verse and Colour

Poems by John Elinger
Illustrations by Sandra Lello

The Seven Seas is a celebration of the sea, and of the seven oceans on earth, in poetry and painting. The land, the seven continents of our planet, usually takes centre stage with its diverse populations of flora and fauna, and humanity – ourselves. But this book gives first place to the water, the element that covers some seventy per cent of the earth’s surface, and the life above and within it.

The volume is organised to reveal the nature and character of the seven oceans (‘the seven seas’, as poets have traditionally called them) and the principal ports that link them as one vast waterway. It contains a series of seven voyages which together comprise one extensive and imaginary tour of the world, encircling the globe three times at different latitudes and visiting both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans at the northern and southern extremes.

After a lively Foreword and a learned Introduction, describing the ocean today and its history, the sea-routes and landfalls of the voyage – and also providing a short account of the arts of poetry and painting – the book is arranged in seven chapters representing each of ‘the seven seas’ in turn, beginning and ending at Greenwich. The imaginary voyage explores the North Atlantic first, followed by the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean, then the Antarctic, before turning northwards again to tour the South Atlantic, passing through the Panama Canal to reach the South and North Pacific, and finally the Arctic Ocean, the Baltic and North Sea, before returning home.

Each port of call is characterised in Sandra Lello’s delightful illustrations and thoughtful verses from the pen of John Elinger, who are each experienced travellers and cruise-lecturers. 

John Elinger is an award-winning poet and the nom de plume of Sir Christopher Ball, sometime Warden of Keble College, Oxford, first Chancellor of the University of Derby and Director of Learning at the R.S.A. Sandra Lello is a painter and illustrator who also lectures on Fine Art and Literature. She was a Fellow of Hugh’s Hall Cambridge and she now lives in Dorset.

£14.99 paperback

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200 pp
60 colour illustrations
September 2021
ISBN: 9781909930810