Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 - 1919), though barely known today, was once one of the best-known poets in America, and was widely published in books and periodicals. Her fall from grace was partly due to her style, which is certainly old-fashioned for today's tastes, but also due to her positions as an early feminist, and perhaps, due to the jealousy of male critics over her financial success as an independent woman.
The background was created in Painter, using the "Liquid" brush tools. I first created a painting of simple blue water and brush-stroke "waves" gradually fading in color as they receded to the horizon. Then I used the "Thin Distorto" brush to add a marbled effect to the surface of each wave. All the text was written by hand using Mitchell Nibs and sumi ink, then scanned and added as a layer over the painting.