Poetic Structure Text
(from memory, probably wrong in places)
Comments
The night Max wore his wolf suit Note the ceremonial clothing symbolizing both how he will behave and what he will become. Also take a gander at the illustration if you have it.
And made mischief of one kind Here Max is trying to eat his dog. With a fork.
And another
P1 His mother called him, “Wild thing.” Given a name
P2 And he said, “I’ll eat you up!”
C1 P3 So he was sent to bed without eating anything. Prohibited from eating for his own good.
C2 That night in Max’s room a forest grew. Is his room a probationary area?
And grew creation scene?
And grew
Until the ceiling hung with vines a garden?
And the walls became the world all around
And an ocean tumbled by
P4 With a private boat just for Max
C3 So he sailed off through night and day
C4 And in and out of weeks
C5 And almost over a year
Till he came to that land where the wild things are reaches a place where his name has meaning
And when he came to the land where the wild things are
C6 They roared their terrible roars and He is challenged
gnashed their terrible teeth and
rolled their terrible eyes and
showed their terrible claws
Till Max said, “Be still!” He responds appropriately
And tamed them with the magic trick
Of staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once
P1 And they were afraid and called him the most wild thing of all he is honored
C7 And made him king of all wild things Max is made a king
C8 “And now,” cried Max, “let the wild rumpus start!” Max acts as king, declares a celebration
three full page panes of Max acting as King of the Wild Things
c8 “Now stop!”
P3 and he sent the wild things off to bed without their supper. maybe he is an Old Testament type of king?
And Max, the king of all wild things was lonely Note the need/yearning for families
And wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.
Then from all around he smelled good things to eat.
c7 So he gave up being king of where the wild things are. Not ready to be a king
But the wild things cried,
P2 “Oh please don’t go, we’ll eat you up, we love you so!” his own threat thrown back at him/needs to become more perfect before being king
c6 And the Wild Things roared their terrible roars and
gnashed their terrible teeth and
rolled their terrible eyes and
showed their terrible claws
But Max said, “No!” and stepped in to his private boat
c5 And sailed back over a year,
c4 And in and out of weeks,
c3 c2 And into the night of his own room back to this life
c1 Where he found his supper waiting for him, It seems Max has been forgiven of both trying to eat his dog (in the second pane) and threatening to eat his mother. The symbol of this forgiveness is the food placed in his room by his mother.
And it was still hot.

Additional comments

The chiasmus is actually centered on the three text free pages of the “Wild Rumpus” in which Max acts as a King of the Wild Things. Note that the illustrated panels of the entire book form a graphical chiasmus. The illustrastions start off as small framed panels and then get larger and larger until the focal point of the book where they fill two pages each and then get smaller and smaller again.

The interactions between Max and his mother parallel the interactions between the Wild Things and Max, indicating that Max is to the Wild Things as his mother is to him.

There is probably a point to be made about ceremonially eating your superior…

I am not sure what to make of Max’s apparent failure as a king.