Man and the Sea ( L’Homme et la Mer ) is a poem by Charles Baudelaire published in 1857 in the book Les Fleurs du Mal ( The Flowers of evil ). I like this poem so much that I decided to illustrate it with color pencils and nail polish.
Man and the Sea ( L’Homme et la Mer in English )
The original text is in French, and it was difficult for me to choose an English translation as there are many. I picked out the one from William Aggeler in, The Flowers of Evil.
Free man, you will always cherish the sea!
The sea is your mirror; you contemplate your soul
In the infinite unrolling of its billows;
Your mind is an abyss that is no less bitter.
You like to plunge into the bosom of your image;
You embrace it with eyes and arms, and your heart
Is distracted at times from its own clamoring
By the sound of this plaint, wild and untamable.
Both of you are gloomy and reticent:
Man, no one has sounded the depths of your being;
O Sea, no person knows your most hidden riches,
So zealously do you keep your secrets!
Yet for countless ages you have fought each other
Without pity, without remorse,
So fiercely do you love carnage and death,
O eternal fighters, implacable brothers!
by Charles Baudelaire, 1857 in Les Fleurs du mal
English translation by William Aggeler, 1954 in The Flowers of Evil
An introduction of my illustrated poem
I am fond of the sea, I often practice scuba diving, freediving, and underwater painting. I find the underwater world fascinating, and I like to talk about it in my fairy tales. It is always challenging to recreate the different shades of ocean blue, but with my painting technique using nail polish, I found the way to make it as shiny and glittery as the sea. So, I hope you will enjoy it!
Buy the poster of Man and the Sea
If you liked this poem, you can buy an art print of this underwater illustration! They are printed in the U.S. and we ship worldwide. It can be a nice present for all the sea lovers, and people who like French poetry!