But look, our seas are what we make of them, full of fish or not, opaque or transparent, red or black, high or smooth, narrow or bankless—and we are ourselves sea, sand, coral, seaweed, beaches, tides, swimmers, children, waves.

—Hélène Cixous, 1976

Seamen are the nearest to death and the furthest from God.

—Thomas Fuller, 1732

I’ve been bathing in the poem

Of star-infused and milky sea

Devouring the azure greens.

—Arthur Rimbaud, 1871

A fair complexion is unbecoming to a sailor: he ought to be swarthy from the waters of the sea and the rays of the sun.

—Ovid, c. 1 BC

Take back your golden fiddles, and we’ll beat to open sea.

—Rudyard Kipling, 1892

And to our age’s drowsy blood

Still shouts the inspiring sea.

—James Russell Lowell, 1848

The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea.

—James Joyce, 1922

The sole business of a seaman onshore who has to go to sea again is to take as much pleasure as he can.

—Leigh Hunt, 1820

As to the sea itself, love it you cannot. Why should you? I will never believe again the sea was ever loved by anyone whose life was married to it. It is the creation of omnipotence, which is not of humankind and understandable, and so the springs of its behavior are hidden.

—H. M. Tomlinson, 1912

The most advanced nations are always those who navigate the most.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1870

All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full.

—Book of Ecclesiastes, c. 250 BC

Why is a ship under sail more poetical than a hog in a high wind? The hog is all nature, the ship is all art.

—Lord Byron, 1821

The power which the sea requires in the sailor makes a man of him very fast, and the change of shores and population clears his head of much nonsense of his wigwam.

—Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1870