Curiously enough, I haven’t ever written on this subject.
But I came across a blog, Chelsea Morning, that is collecting stories. What a fun project! Wish I’d thought of it first.
She’s asking people to write up an entry on their blog and then post a link on hers.
So anyway, The Wine Dark Sea is a literary reference. And anyone who knows me is now saying: Of course. How appropriate! (To put it mildly I’m a bookaholic.)
It’s a phrase out of Homer, The Odyssey to be precise. Though it does not appear in all translations.
From the first time I heard it, I was enchanted. For me it’s one of the most perfect poetic images.
I love the classics and am proud of my Great Books education. Also, I love the ocean and nautical tales. (The Wine Dark Sea is also the title of a Patrick O’Brien novel, one in his fabulous Aubrey-Maturin series about the Age of Sail.)
When Dom (then my boyfriend, now my husband) was building a website for me, a hard question was what to name it. I wanted it to be both something I could use professionally as an English teacher and personally. (Now that I’m not teaching, it is only being used for my personal blog.) My first thought was actually to do something from my favorite poet, T. S. Eliot. But the Waste Land was taken already (by some icky site I don’t recommend). And I just couldn’t think of one short phrase or image from Eliot that would make a good title.
But I think Homer is a perfectly good fall back position. And I think I actually like this title better than The Waste Land. It’s really more me.
I think all in all the title suits me quite well. My thoughts drift here and there and I never know on what shores I will wash up next. Like Odysseus, I am forever voyaging, forever exploring. And I hope one day to arrive home and find that I’ve been expected.
The sea is such a rich symbol, an image of voyaging, an image of change, an image of faith. I can’t begin to plumb it’s depths here and now; but maybe I’ll return to this theme again.
Another note, on the picture. I love Waterhouse and I love Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which this is an illustration of. When I was searching for images, I was thinking of a sunset over the Aegean. But it was hard to find a picture of the appropriate dimensions that conveyed the right feeling. All in all, I think this too is a most fortuitous find and better than my original idea.
via Kitty Eleison