A Sea-Spell, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Luna has quieted the rowdy sea,
Making way for the haze of Aurora,
Which will disguise most all things before me.
But I’m being guided by an aura.
Piercing the haze was a glowing nimbus,
Then came sounds ever intoxicating.
Reaching near I did see the lute’s limbus,
Closer, her face was immobilizing
Spirits you have tricked this loveless being.
Not far ahead are reefs what sailor’s dread,
But beyond, to the heart so appealing.
For a chance to encounter I’ll be dead.
Tried touching her as never did before.
Now lies my lifeless body on the shore.
A Sea–Spell is an 1877 oil painting by English artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, depicting a siren playing an instrument to lure sailors. Rossetti, also a poet wrote a sonnet in 1869 about this topic.
In the painting notice the seagull giving us a clue that the story relates to the sea. Then there is the apple. A clear symbol of Adam and Eve tasting the forbidden fruit. The title of the painting is another clue as to the story. This beautiful woman will put you under a spell, exactly what the the Sirens do.
The Sirens are part of Greek mythology and have often been used as an allegory by both painter and poet alike. I am no different. We go through life sailing along and then there is a distraction or should I attraction. A human frailty of desire that allows us to succumb to vices.
A Lady at her Mirror, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Traveled the seven seas thinking of you,
Hair spun of gold, skin softer than velvet,
Eyes so brown and lips made from summer dew.
Your beauty touched my heart when we first met.
Soon my distant traveling days will end,
Though the salty air do wonders for me.
It is but with you all time I will spend,
For there is no oth’r place I rather be.
Tis greatest desire to be man and wife,
As my feelings for you rules every thought.
It is your gentle touch that gives me life.
A sign of my deep love these pearls I bought.
These tears of the gods unequal to thee,
Who is full of beauty and purity.
Jean Raoux did this painting sometime between 1720 and 1729. As with those who proceeded him a major concern was the light that shined upon the subject. Here we see that simply by the angle of the mirror Raoux can control the placement of the reflected light. I pondered why did he not direct it to the model’s whole face? Probably because the story was about the pearls.
The Romans thought of pearls as being the ultimate demonstration of wealth. For the Greeks pearls were linked to love and marriage. In my poem I take the Grecian theme.
Mountain of the Holy Cross, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
As did Moses I come to a mountain,
Not for garnering Thy holy promise,
But to drink the waters from Thy fountain,
And off’r my soul to You without remiss.
My heart is as cold as is the water,
With Thy divine spirit it will soon warm.
Let me not be among Thy rejecters,
For faith will protect me from any storm.
Touching the waters I now feel renewed,
To challenge whatev’r evil I may face,
Destroying it with Thy heavenly food,
Giving thanks to You that I have Thy grace.
Though the path be rough you are at my side,
As there is none bett’r to have for a guide.
As the caption under the painting states this painting was done by Thomas Moran in 1875. The painting is based on a natural phenomenon that caused quite a stir. His painting is not a depiction of an actual view as he added embellishments. An link to an article which give additional information can seen by clicking below.
The photo below was taken by William Henry Jackson, circa 1875.
Tornado in the Wilderness, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Path of our lives can’t ever be unbowed,
Nor be without stones to stumble and fall,
For all are weakened by what they have sowed.
Is but human desires that is our thrall.
If it be normal to have such desires,
Shall we forev’r be lost in a wilderness,
Then expire sent to the eternal fires,
Or to seek emotional emptiness?
Not the Designer’s plan that love we not.
We are His creation, from love we came.
So that this mighty work should not be naught,
In some humble fashion our love proclaim.
Should burdens of life be beyond our might,
We shall raise our eyes to His saving light.
Thomas Cole completed Tornado in the Wilderness in 1835. To me this painting sends a very strong message. Look at the destroyed trees. We can take them to mean destroyed lives not in the sense of death but in a spiritual way. Think of the tree of life and what it symbolizes. In the Book of Genesis, the tree of life is described. And what of the light finding its way into the wilderness. Another spiritual symbol. It is plain to see that it symbolizes a guide to find your way through life given the human fallibilities.
Study from Nature, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Part of Nature I will forever be,
If consumed by those who shall follow me.
Do not think that I am only a tree,
But rather to be part of history.
Over the many long years did I stand,
Being buffeted by the wind and sand.
Remain tall was my internal command,
Until the day that I failed to be grand.
Here on my side unable to respire,
Possibility of kindling for fire.
Unless there be another’s great desire,
To create things others seek to acquire.
Is my wisdom that I am here to share,
If fail to heed my warning then beware.
Asher B. Durand did this painting “Study from Nature, Stratton Notch, Vermont” sometime before 1907. What Durand is studying, the need to developing skills to do a painting more grand this this one. I find this painting captivating. I see a fallen tree in the foreground and Durand has created a path through the mountains to or away from the tree. It is a relatively new fall as the leaves are still attached. By the splintering it appears that it was not the victim of a lumberjack’s ax.
Walking in the woods I come across countless fallen trees. Some mossed over and some being bleached by the sun. They once stood tall doing what Nature expended of them. But like all living things there must be an end. So here we have a tree that is not stranding tall but still has something of value to give to the world.
Wanderer above a Sea of Fog, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Cannot remember when I first stood here.
Always for the same issue of import.
Up, down, left, and right my stern eyes would peer.
Of course there was no change of any sort.
Fog will forever remain unaltered.
Mountains and hills will forever remain.
My speaking otherwise would be paltered.
Need to rid myself of this choking chain!
To the jungle I will have to return.
It like the fog different but the same.
From my trip tested on what did I learn?
Is this the time the jungle will be tame?
Fog results from its environment
Do we rid ourselves of steel and cement?
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, also known as Wanderer above the Mist or Mountaineer in a Misty Landscape was done sometime around 1818 by the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich. It is obvious that the fog stops the Wanderer from seeing things clearly. It is quite obvious that Friedrich was thinking more than a guy on vacation.
I see this a being a message of a man attempting to understand the world, a world that was becoming more and more complex. Much of the western world was moving from agrarian to industry. More and more people moving into cities. So here we are, just shy of two hundred years since Friedrich did the painting and where are we? Still on the top of a mountain looking down trying to see through the fog.
Storm off Belle Isle Coast, Robert A. Sieczkiewicz
Boat tossed about in the tenebrous storm.
Body soon to be on the ocean floor.
Poseidon took pity, which not his norm.
Tossed me ashore. Alive with nothing more.
Tried to stand, feet to be no part of it.
Did not know nor care who or where I was.
Only sand, for life this place was not fit.
To be saved there would be no time for pause.
Crawling, did I spy an Oceanid?
Using elbows and knees did make my way.
Twas Tethys, her beauty was so vivid.
Save this battered wretched soul I do pray.
Got to the spot where she lay. She was gone.
Returned to the water. Time to move on.
Claude Monet painted the Storm off Belle Isle Coast 1886 in a time of frustration. The weather was miserable and so was Monet. So as not to waste time he worked on his colors. I take this painting to be an allegory and so is the poem.