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The City Of Sleep by © Janis Zroback

Framed Prints

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Over the edge of the purple down,
Where the single lamplight gleams.
Know ye the road to the Merciful Town
That is hard by the Sea of Dreams—
Where the poor may lay their wrongs away,
And the sick may forget to-weep?
But we—pity us! Oh, pity us!
We wakeful; ah, pity us!—
We must go back with Policeman Day—
Back from the City of Sleep

Weary they turn from the scroll and crown,
Fetter and prayer and plough—
They that go up to the Merciful Town,
For her gates are closing now.
It is their right in the Baths of Night
Body and soul to steep,
But we—pity us! ah, pity us!
We wakeful; oh, pity us!—
We must go back with Policeman Day—
Back from the City of Sleep

Over the edge of the purple down,
Ere the tender dreams begin,
Look—we may look—at the Merciful Towns
But we may not enter in!
Outcasts all, from her guarded wall
Back to our watch we creep:
We—pity us! ah, pity us!
We wakeful; oh, pity us!—
We that go back with Policeman Day—
Back from the City of Sleep
! Kipling

There are so many levels to this poem, with it’s themes of poverty and wealth, that I decided to concentrate on just one, the theme of sleeplessness, the “balm of hurt minds”, that many of us never achieve, and just show the city asleep either at the end of a day or at dawn..
Kipling writes very complicated verse on topics that intrigue the reader…I hope to intrigue you the viewer with my darkened sleeping citadel, seen across the river
Watercolour on Arches Rough Paper…View Large for better impact….

More of my work based on Kipling can be seen HERE

I paint in many different styles and feature a myriad of subject matter, which I show as individual collections….
I am inspired by the world interpreting it in brilliant colours, often influenced by the writings of famous authors and poets..
© All rights reserved. All images contained on these pages are © copyright protected by Janis Zroback and any use of these images in any form without her written permission will be considered an infringement of these copyrights.

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  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...about 2 years ago

    Keep them coming wahini… me a reason to check in…..beautiful as always

  • Thanks so much for leaving a comment KJ….I really appreciate it as I know it mean extra clicks…

    – © Janis Zroback

    JUSTARTabout 2 years ago


  • Thank you so much Syl…I really appreciate it..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehabout 2 years ago

    It does have a feeling of sleep; and I love how the sky is changing from the bright orange to the night blue.

  • Thanks so much MuiLing..I really appreciate the comments from all of you regardless of the extra clicks…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • George Petrovsky
    George Petrovskyabout 2 years ago

    Another beautiful interpretation of Kipling’s verse, Janis, capturing the light and strong yet subtle colours of the sun. What words would Kipling write, I wonder, about the “City that Never Sleeps”? :)george

  • I would be in that city George…I am a bad sleeper, so the poem really appealed to me..thanks so much for taking the time to comment…I really appreciate it..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...about 2 years ago

    Has rb disallowed descriptions and exclamations of our art now

  • No…you just click the buttons on the top right of this page to see the description or related works..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • WhiteDove Studio kj gordon
    WhiteDove Stud...about 2 years ago

    Oh now I understand your mention of extra clicks….
    Is that really necessary….they change things much too much…..I think artists have enough on their palettes…than searching descriptions….and for visitors and especially customers as well…

  • Well it’s to help increase sales..the buyer will get to see the extra images from your gallery’s deer more work and will be more inclined to stay on your page…we the members will click to comment and to read the descriptions…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanabout 2 years ago

    .. tired so wish I was still in the land of sleep Janis…and especially in one of those mysterious buildings on the skyline bathed in colour from the sky…beautiful and dreamy work :)

  • Thanks so much Linda….I am really happy that you like it…winter makes me tired…all those dark days with not much sun.

    – © Janis Zroback

  • Leslie Gustafson
    Leslie Gustafsonabout 2 years ago

    Stunning!! Such skill! Mood and magic!!

  • Thanks so much Leslie…very nice of you…

    – © Janis Zroback

  • eoconnor
    eoconnorabout 2 years ago

    Beautiful cityscape Janis. A fav Liz

  • Thanks so much Liz…lovely to see you and hope you are well..

    – © Janis Zroback

  • JacqueLynn
    JacqueLynnabout 2 years ago

    Love this work, Janis; I think it is one of my all-time Favorites…

  • That is really gratifying to know…thank you so much JacqueLynn…

    – © Janis Zroback

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