February 13, 2009

A second look at childhood anger: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

For some reason I found myself thinking of one of my favourite childhood stories, Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and was lucky enough to find the words and some images from the book online. Sometimes it's interesting to take a second look at things, and this is very true when it comes to this book. I'm not going to detail my childhood tantrums here but it is interesting to get a fresh look at a classic story.




The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind

and another

his mother called him “WILD THING!”

and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP!”

so he was sent to bed without eating anything.

Moishe on the left and Bernard on the right.

That very night in Max’s room a forest grew

and grew-

and grew until his ceiling hung with vines

and the walls became the world all around

and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max

and he sailed off through night and day

and in and out of weeks

and almost over a year

to where the wild things are.

Moishe bowing to Max, the king of all wild things.

And when he came to the place where the wild things are

they roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth

and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws

till Max said “BE STILL!”

and tamed them with the magic trick

of staring into all their yellow eyes without blinking once

and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all

and made him king of all wild things.

“And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!”

“Now stop!” Max said and sent the wild things off to bed

without their supper.

And Max the king of all wild things was lonely

and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.

Then all around from far away across the world

he smelled good things to eat

so he gave up being king of where the wild things are.

But the wild things cried, “Oh please don’t go-

we’ll eat you up- we love you so!”

And Max said, “No!”

The wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth

and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws

but Max stepped into his private boat and waved good-bye

and sailed back over a year

and in and out of weeks

and through a day

and into the night of his very own room

where he found his supper waiting for him

and it was still hot.



Where the Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak(1963)

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