SLEEP, SLEEP, BEAUTY BRIGHT
DREAMING IN THE JOYS OF NIGHT
SLEEP, SLEEP, IN THY SLEEP,
LITTLE SORROWS SIT AND WEEP
SWEET BABE, IN THY FACE SOFT DESIRES I CAN TRACE
The meter and image reflect and respond to Willaim Blake's, 'The Tyger' from Songs of Experience, which begins and ends with:
TYGER TYGER, BURNING BRIGHT
IN THE FOREST OF THE NIGHT
WHAT IMMORTAL HAND OR EYE
COULD FRAME THY FEARFUL SYMMETRY?
For nearly each poem in Blake's Songs of Experience is a contrasting poem in his Songs of Innocence. Even though Sendak's illustration centers on the tiger in the foreground, he attributes to the Tyger's Innocent counterpart, "The Lamb": in the image are children climbing, yet sleeping, and either tiger and lamb can become the focus.
If you've only seen his art from Where the Wild Things Are, check out his other works and hear Maurice Sendak talk about his life of illustrating here.
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