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A sea is a large body|salt water that is surrounded in whole or in part by land. More broadly, "the sea" is the interconnected system of Earth's salty, oceanic waters—considered as one global ocean or as several principal oceanic divisions. The sea moderates Earth's climate and has important roles in the water cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle.


Θάλαττα, θάλατταThe Sea! The Sea!
  • There is something deeply impressive about the night sea as one experiences it from a small vessel far from land. When I stood on the afterdeck on those dark nights, on a tiny man-made island of wood and steel, dimly seeing the great shapes of waves that rolled about us, I think I was conscious as never before that ours is a water world, dominated by the immensity of the sea.
    • Rachel Carson Speech (1954) In Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1998)
  • It is a curious situation that the sea, from which life first arose, should now be threatened by the activities of one form of that life. But the sea, though changed in a sinister way, will continue to exist; the threat is rather to life itself.
  • Alone, alone, all, all alone,
    Alone on a wide wide sea!
    And never a saint took pity on
    My soul in agony.
  • A singular disadvantage of the sea lies in the fact that after successfully surmounting one wave you discover that there is another behind it just as important and just as nervously anxious to do something effective in the way of swamping boats.
  • For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
    it's always ourselves we find in the sea.
    • E. E. Cummings, "maggie and millie and mollie and may" in 95 Poems (1958)
  • The sea did what it liked, and what it liked was destruction. It thundered at the town, and thundered at the cliffs, and brought the coast down, madly.
  • This much is certain: We have the power to damage the sea, but no sure way to heal the harm.
  • Even if you never have the chance to see or touch the ocean, the ocean touches you with every breath you take, every drop of water you drink, every bite you consume. Everyone, everywhere is inextricably connected to and utterly dependent upon the existence of the sea.
    • Sylvia Earle The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One (2009)
  • God! he said quietly. Isn’t the sea what Algy calls it: a great sweet mother? The snotgreen sea. The scrotumtightening sea. Epi oinopa ponton. Ah, Dedalus, the Greeks! I must teach you. You must read them in the original. Thalatta! Thalatta! She is our great sweet mother. Come and look.
  • The sea, that great library of books one cannot read.
    • Ian Fleming, Live and Let Die (1954), Chapter 17, The Undertaker's Wind
  • I have seen the sea lashed into fury and tossed into spray, and its grandeur moves the soul of the dullest man; but I remember that it is not the billows, but the calm level of the sea from which all heights and depths are measured.
    • James A. Garfield, speech nominating John Sherman for president; Proceedings of the Republican National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, June 2–8, 1880 (1881), p. 184. Garfield himself was ultimately nominated at this convention.
  • Praise the sea, but keep on land.
  • We have fed our sea for a thousand years
    And she calls us, still unfed,
    Though there's never a wave of all her waves
    But marks our English dead.
  • It keeps eternal whisperings around
    Desolate shores, and with its mighty swell
    Gluts twice ten thousand Caverns, till the spell
    Of Hecate leaves them their old shadowy sound.
  • Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death; the seas bear only commerce.
  • I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
  • Many years ago I was a boy drowning in the sea. I am always drowning in the sea... down amongst the dead men, deep down. There is a peace in the sea back down to our origins... when the last man has taken his breath the sea will still be remaining. It washes everything clean. It holds within it forever the boy suspended in its body and the streaming hair and the open eyes.
  • Oh salty sea, how much of your salt
    are tears of Portugal!
  • The unsheltered sea heaves and heaves and blanches into foam. It sets me thinking of some tied-up monster straining at its bonds, in front of whose gaping jaws we build our homes on the shore and watch it lashing its tail. What immense strength, with waves swelling like the muscles of a giant! From the beginning of creation there has been this feud between land and water: the dry earth slowly and silently adding to its domain and spreading a broader and broader lap for its children; the ocean receding step by step, heaving and sobbing and beating its breast in despair. Remember the sea was once sole monarch, utterly free. Land rose from its womb, usurped its throne, and ever since the maddened old creature, with hoary crest of foam, wails and laments continually, like King Lear exposed to the fury of the elements.
  • All that is told of the sea has a fabulous sound to an inhabitant of the land, and all its products have a certain fabulous quality, as if they belonged to another planet, from seaweed to a sailor’s yarn, or a fish story. In this element the animal and vegetable kingdoms meet and are strangely mingled.
  • Beware of the Sea! If thou hearest the cry of the gull on the shore, Thy heart shall then rest in the forest no more.
  • Listen to that bitch—the sea—that maker of widows.

The Bible on Wikisource

  • All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; unto the place where the rivers come, thither they return again.
  • If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 554-57.
  • The sea heaves up, hangs loaded o'er the land,
    Breaks there, and buries its tumultuous strength.
  • I never was on the dull, tame shore,
    But I loved the great sea more and more.
  • The sea! the sea! the open sea!
    The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
    Without a mark, without a bound,
    It runneth the earth's wide regions round;
    It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
    Or like a cradled creature lies.
  • Behold the Sea,
    The opaline, the plentiful and strong,
    Yet beautiful as is the rose in June,
    Fresh as the trickling rainbow of July;
    Sea full of food, the nourisher of kinds,
    Purger of earth, and medicine of men;
    Creating a sweet climate by my breath,
    Washing out harms and griefs from memory,
    And, in my mathematic ebb and flow,
    Giving a hint of that which changes not.
  • There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowells of the earth, many a fair pearle in the bosome of the sea, that never was seene nor never shall bee.
    • Bishop Hall, Contemplations, Veil of Moses, I, VI, p. 872. See Quarterly Review, No, XXII, p. 314.
  • The hollow sea-shell, which for years hath stood
    On dusty shelves, when held against the ear
    Proclaims its stormy parent, and we hear
    The faint, far murmur of the breaking flood.
    We hear the sea. The Sea? It is the blood
    In our own veins, impetuous and near.
  • The sea appears all golden
    Beneath the sun-lit sky.
  • Of the loud resounding sea.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book IX. 182.
  • Come o'er the moonlit sea,
    The waves are brightly glowing.
  • Tut! the best thing I know between France and England is the sea.
  • Love the sea? I dote upon it—from the beach.
  • The land is dearer for the sea,
    The ocean for the shore.
  • "Would'st thou,"—so the helmsman answered,
    "Learn the secret of the sea?
    Only those who brave its dangers
    Comprehend its mystery!"
  • It is a pleasure for to sit at ease
    Upon the land, and safely for to see
    How other folks are tossed on the seas
    That with the blustering winds turmoiled be.
    • Lucretius, translated from Amyot's Introduction to Plutarch, by Sir Thomas North. (1579).
  • Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea.
  • Why does the sea moan evermore?
    Shut out from heaven it makes its moan,
    It frets against the boundary shore;
    All earth's full rivers cannot fill
    The sea, that drinking thirsteth still.
  • Streak of silver sea.
    • Lord Salisbury. Quoted from Col. Chesney, who also quoted it. Used by Gladstone, writing of the English Channel, in Edinburgh Review, Oct. 18, 1870.
  • The Channel is that silver strip of sea which severs merry England from the tardy realms of Europe.
    • In the Church and State Review (April 1, 1863).
  • There the sea I found
    Calm as a cradled child in dreamless slumber bound.
  • I loved the Sea.
    Whether in calm it glassed the gracious day
    With all its light, the night with all its fires;
    Whether in storm it lashed its sullen spray,
    Wild as the heart when passionate youth expires;
    Or lay, as now, a torture to my mind,
    In yonder land-locked bay, unwrinkled by the wind.
  • Break, break, break,
    On thy cold gray stones, oh sea!
    And I would that my tongue could utter
    The thoughts that arise in me.
  • Littus ama; altum alii teneant.
    • Love the shore; let others keep to the deep sea.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), V. 163–4 (adapted).

See also

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