Ferry and Other Boat Poems

Our Ferry Tales anthology, ‘At Sea’, with almost 60 new ferry poems,  is now sold out – so here are a few of our other favourites:


Jane Draycott ‘The Hired Boat’ from: Over (Oxford Poets, 2009)

Not about a ferry, but a thought-provoking mystery boat poem…


Hugh Greasley, ‘Chain Ferry’ in The Tide Clock and Other Poems (Landlocked Press, 2015)

You might want to track down this evocative poem.


Thomas Hardy, ‘Weathers’ Collected Poems

Try your own version with 2 rhymes in verse one (A, A refrain, A, A, B, B, B, B, A refrain) and 3 in verse two (A, B refrain, A, B, C, C, C, C, B refrain). All lines begin with ‘And’ except 1&3.

Brian Hinton, ‘The Voyage Back’ in The Heart’s Clockwork (Enitharmon)

You might like to check out Brian Hinton’s beautifully poignant poem, ‘The Voyage Back’. It was published in his collection, The Heart’s Clockwork, by Enitharmon and was written on the Wightlink crossing between Lymington and Yarmouth. Tennyson would have made this crossing many times and Brian has skilfully woven in deliberate echoes from some of Tennyson’s poems.


David Malouf , ‘At the Ferry’ (2006)


Stephanie Norgate, ‘ Ferries at Southsea’ in Hidden River (Bloodaxe, 2008)

This poem lets you watch ferries arriving into port at night as if those ‘huge trays of light’ were right in front of you and you were there, in Southsea, with the speaker.


Sylvia Plath, ‘Channel Crossing’ in Collected Poems (Faber, 1981)


Christina Rossetti ‘Ferry me across the water’ in Sing-Song: A Nursery Rhyme Book


Chris Sparkes ‘Harbour’ in Rialto no.75 (2012)

This is the best kind of ferry poem – inventive and imaginative.


Edna St Vincent Millay ‘Recuerdo’ in A Few Figs From Thistles (1922)

You’ll find this ferry poem at:


The title means ‘I remember’ or ‘a memory’.


Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Crossing the Bar’ (1889)

It is believed that Tennyson wrote this poem about crossing the Solent when he lived at Farringford on the Isle of Wight, though there is an alternative theory that he wrote it on a yacht in the Salcombe estuary. The sandbar in the poem also marks the crossing from life to death.