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Welcome to Poetics everyone! Brian Miller here and I have the privilege of opening the door, then taking a seat to enjoy while Aaron Kent tends the pub today. It’s going to be a wild one…take it away Aaron…

photo by Scott Woods-Fehr

Maurice Sendak invented monsters, in every sense of the word. It’s easy to look at Where The Wild Things Are and instantly point out the creatures on the island as the monsters of the piece, but how many would also say the same about Max? Maurice Sendak didn’t like ‘good boys’, he preferred to show children as they actually were, sometimes sweet and innocent, sometimes as mischievous and frightening as the beasts of the story themselves.

Sadly, Maurice Sendak  passed away this week due to complications from a stroke. The provider of dreams (and occasional nightmares) for children everywhere Maurice never had children himself, though that never stopped him understanding kids, perhaps better than many children understand themselves. “I am trying to draw the way children feel” he once told the New Yorker, as if the perception of childhood was less relevant than magic of it, the feeling that as a child anything can and – if you use your imagination – eventually will happen.

image by Scott Woods-Fehr

Sendak was extremel personable and did his utmost to interact with every letter received from a child, he admitted that sometimes he answered hastily but in this day and age where celebrities and public figures often only interact to chosen tweets a hastily written response would be impressive. His favourite letter ever received was actually from a parent though: “[A little boy] sent me a charming card with a little drawing. I loved it… I sent him a postcard and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, ‘Dear Jim, I loved your card.’ Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, ‘Jim loved your card so much he ate it.’ That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.”

That to me sums up the beauty of what Maurice wanted to capture, the way children see the world in a very different manner. They don’t see a one-off drawing, they see food. They don’t see a fight, they see a Wild Rumpus. They don’t see a wolf costume, they see the ability to become a wolf. I don’t know the age imagination declines, but I have a theory that it may just be the age at which you stop reading Where The Wild Things Are and move onto something a bit ‘older’.

So, to the writing! Please write about anything Maurice Sendak related. Be it his books, any memories you have of his words or images, his personal life or even putting yourself into one of his stories. Or maybe even try to see the world as a child may see it.

What are we waiting for? LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN!

How we do this:

  • Write a poem and post it to your blog.
  • Click the Mr. Linky button below, and in the new window that opens up input your name and direct URL of the poem.
  • Visit other people’s poems and comment to let them know that poems are being read.
  • Share via your favourite social network(s).
  • Have fun!