Her Excellent Loneliness... by ©Janis Zroback

Who hath desired the Sea?
Her excellent loneliness, rather than forecourts of kings…
And her outermost pits, than the streets where men gather inland..
Among dust, under trees…
Inland where the slayer may slay him…
Inland, out of reach of her arms, and the bosom whereon he must lay him
His Sea from the first that betrayed…
At the last that shall never betray him:
His Sea that his being fulfils?
So and no otherwise…so and no otherwise.. Hillmen desire their Hills

In this the third and last stanza of the poem, Kipling talks about the sea’s excellent loneliness as being more desirable than the “The streets where men gather inland”, yet men still desire the hills…this contradiction was repeated throughout the poem…
I chose to portray the sea as on a calm night, just past sunset, with a single gull to convey the loneliness that Kipling describes…there is some land in the distance, but it’s enveloped by mist and appears to be one with the sea

Watercolour on Arches Not Paper..

Below is a brief review of the whole poem…to re-read it, click the links below the images..

An extraordinary poem of desire is presented here and a no less extraordinary technical achievement, where the pounding energy of the sea is created through language and rhythm, only to be interrupted by a repeated question mark and masterfully turned against itself at the close of every verse. This structure means that readers are flung repeatedly against a contradiction: in speaking of the sea, the poem asks them to take pleasure in violent sound and movement but it immediately compares this pleasure with the longing for composure, for silence and stillness, as they are found in the hills.

This technique attempts to present as a single experience the longing for utter wildness and a desire for home. Yet for a reader who does not insist that naming the sea as ‘she’ is purely conventional, the image of a woman, perhaps a mother, hovers behind the surface of this poem. This woman, like the sea and also like the mother who abandoned him in Southsea is both the site of a dangerous turbulence of feeling and the object of inveterate longing. The hills, on the other hand, present an image of the maternal body that promises peace….M. Hamer

The Moon Breaking Timely to Bare It

The Immense and Contemptuous Surges

Who Hath Desired the Sea?

The Sea…The Sea

I paint in many different styles and feature a myriad of subject matter, which I show as individual collections….
I am inspired by the world interpreting it in brilliant colours, often influenced by the writings of famous authors and poets..
© All rights reserved. All images contained on these pages are © copyright protected by Janis Zroback and any use of these images in any form without her written permission will be considered an infringement of these copyrights.

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  • ©Janis Zroback
    ©Janis Zrobackalmost 5 years ago

  • Leslie Gustafson
    Leslie Gustafsonalmost 5 years ago

    Lovely Janis! Wonder-full color and light as usual! The green drew me in in this one! You are an inspiration!

  • I wanted this one to hark back to my romantic series, so painted it in those more somber tone on tone colours…I’m happy you like it…thanks so much Leslie…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • JulieWickham
    JulieWickhamalmost 5 years ago

    Great work here Janis – the solitary bird and the vastness of the scene add to the loneliness.

  • Thank you so much Julie…that’s exactly what I wanted to convey…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...almost 5 years ago

    speaks loud and clear…..stay away………one should adhere to the warning………..

  • That’s right…though some prefer it…thanks KJ…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • loiteke
    loitekealmost 5 years ago

    Again gorgeous work

  • Thank you so much Meeli…very nie of you..

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • eoconnor
    eoconnoralmost 5 years ago

    alone in a vast lamdscape well portrayed in this wortk Janiswell done !liz

  • Thank you so much Liz…there was no other way that would say it best…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • ©Janis Zroback
    ©Janis Zrobackalmost 5 years ago

  • Lynda Robinson
    Lynda Robinsonalmost 5 years ago

    A wonderful addition to this great collection Janis. Lovely work.

  • Thank you so much Lynda…I’m happy you like it…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • terezadelpilar~ art & architecture
    terezadelpilar...almost 5 years ago

  • Wonderful news…thank you so much…

    – ©Janis Zroback

  • Jim Phillips
    Jim Phillipsalmost 5 years ago

    I think this may be my favorite collection or series Janis. This one, as are the others, is gorgeous. Really like them all.

  • Thank you so much Jim…I’m thrilled that you like the series as there is more to come…I have a commission based on these images as well…

    – ©Janis Zroback

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