Thursday, September 19, 2013

Turning In

"O, then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the fore-finger of an alderman ...
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;"
~Mercutio, Romeo and Juliet

I've posted about sleep before, but I'm revisiting it because I find the stories and legends about sleep so interesting. There's Queen Mab, Rip Van Winkle, Sleeping Beauty, the Sandman, Hypnos (god of sleep), Morpheus (god of dreams), Wee Willie Winkie, "Sleeping Hero legends"...

Here's a small sampling of sleepy art:

She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.

Illustration for Tennyson's "Sleeping Beauty"
by W. E. F. Britten

illustration by Byam Shaw

An illustration from Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle
by N.C. Wyeth

Queen Mab
Henry Meynell Rheam (1859 – 1920)

Sleeping Beauty
by Henry Meynell Rheam

Scott Stulen, The Shape of Night: The Language of Sleep
Photograph by Cameron Wittig, courtesy The Walker Art Center
shared by Northern Lights

Les Fleurs Animèes
by J. J. Grandville, 1847


* Makura Gaeshi is a Japanese spirit who moves your pillow to your feet while you are sleeping (this image is pretty funny).
* A recent version of Sleeping Beauty
* Native American Legends and Stories About Dreams
* Hawaiian Legends of Dreams, retold and illuminated by Caren Loebel-Fried

Next time you see someone sleeping, make believe you're in a science fiction movie. And whisper, 'The creature is regenerating itself.”
~George Carlin


Charles Ghigna said...

Thank you, Tabatha, for this literary and artistic study of sleep. Fascinating!

Chip, our recent college graduate has been doing his own "study" of sleep. Here are a couple of his paintings on the subject, if you're interested.

Charles Ghigna said...

Oops. Forgot to include the link. Here 'tis. BALD EGO blog

Pop said...

Sleep and dreams are definitely good subjects for art and poetry because they are a daily venture into the unknown. We know we can't do without sleep, but what happens *while* it's going on?

Another Shakespeare quotation comes from Hamlet's "to be or not to be" soliloquy where Hamlet equates sleep with death. ("To sleep, perchance to Dream; Aye, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause."

Love the N.C. Wyeth Rip Van Winkle of my favorites.

And speaking of favorites; thanks for including George Carlin in your post!

Sorry for such a long comment, but the subject is just so entrancing.

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

You're right, that Makura Gaeshi is a hoot! See you tomorrow.

Author Amok said...

Hi, Tabatha. My friend's sister (a sleep researcher) was recently on the radio show Fresh Air. Check it out!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Wonderful post - and it's past my bedtime. Thanks for sharing. ZZzzzz....

BJ Lee said...

wonderful images, Tabatha! I love them!