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The Dream

Libby Hopper

Henri_Rousseau_-_Il_sogno.jpg

"The Dream" by Henri Rousseau is one of my favorite paintings. I remember seeing it in person for  the first time at MOMA in NYC and being stunned. I would visit it every time I went back to the MOMA when I lived in New York. I love the jungle theme that permeates much of Rousseau's work and the way he brings the presence of the animals to an equal level of their human counterparts.

Apparently Rousseau thought viewers of this painting would not understand it, so he wrote an accompanying poem to this painting (translated into English):

Yadwigha in a beautiful dream
Having fallen gently to sleep
Heard the sounds of a reed instrument
Played by a well-intentioned snake charmer.
As the moon reflected
On the flowers, the verdant trees,
The wild snakes lend an ear
To the joyous tunes of the instrument.