Wadsworth Longfellow, the seaside and the secret.

“Ah! what pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.
Sails of silk and ropes of sandal,
Such as gleam in ancient lore;
And the singing of the sailors,
And the answer from the shore!
Most of all, the Spanish ballad
Haunts me oft, and tarries long,
Of the noble Count Arnaldos
And the sailor’s mystic song.
Like the long waves on a sea-beach,
Where the sand as silver shines,
With a soft, monotonous cadence,
Flow its unrhymed lyric lines;– Telling how the Count Arnaldos,
With his hawk upon his hand,
Saw a fair and stately galley,
Steering onward to the land;– How he heard the ancient helmsman
Chant a song so wild and clear,
That the sailing sea-bird slowly
Poised upon the mast to hear,
Till his soul was full of longing,
And he cried, with impulse strong,–
“Helmsman! for the love of heaven,
Teach me, too, that wondrous song!” “Wouldst thou,” so the helmsman answered,
“Learn the secret of the sea?
Only those who brave its dangers
Comprehend its mystery!” In each sail that skims the horizon,
In each landward-blowing breeze,
I behold that stately galley,
Hear those mournful melodies;
Till my soul is full of longing
For the secret of the sea,
And the heart of the great ocean
Sends a thrilling pulse through me.”

Word for word he wrote my feelings. The most favourite poem by one of the Masters of lyrical poetry. By the Seaside: The Secret of the Sea by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(1807-1882). He stole my heart with this one. Apart from teaching and writing poetry, he spent years translating Dante’s Divine Comedy and the poetry of Michaelangelo.

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Oliver, the ocean and the love.

I am in love with Ocean
lifting her thousands of white hats
in the chop of the storm,
or lying smooth and blue, the
loveliest bed in the world.
In the personal life, there is
always grief more than enough,
a heart load for each of us
on the dusty road. I suppose
there is a reason for this, so I will be
patient, acquiescent. But I will live
nowhere except here, by Ocean, trusting
equally in all blast and welcome
of her sorrowless, salt self.

– Ocean by Mary Oliver

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Fishing boats, diamonds and all kinds of reflections.

Diamonds
Oil – 100x50cms

This is the only painting I have done for myself where I used the colour yellow. For commissioned paintings I paint whatever I’m asked for, but for some strange reason, whenever I paint to express myself, I don’t even think about this colour. In this case I had no choice because I wanted to paint the typical Maltese fishing boat. I wanted to capture some of my most vivid childhood memories in this one. As a child I used to love staring at their magnetic vibrant colours and used to find myself hypnotized by their lulled movement upon entering the harbour. During another reverie of mine, I was thinking that their reflections looked like shapes of fluid coloured diamonds, and then I thought, aren’t these boats as precious as diamonds? For the fishermen and their families, their only means of income. For the people who love fish especially those who can only eat that.

I had to included some seagulls because I love them and they were cause of many other reveries during childhood. The understated birds. The ones that dance when a storm is coming. The survivors.

luzzu