Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus / by Chris Hall

Pieter Bruegel, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, c 1560

I’ve always rather liked this painting, so full of life when compared to a lot of Bruegel’s other works.  And the interpretation of the myth, the fall of a hero and nobody notices, almost seems contemporary.  It is not with any surprise that nearly a dozen poems exist riffing on this painting.  Of the lot, my favorite is William Carlos Williams poem, titled the same as the painting:

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling
near

the edge of the sea
concerned 
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings’ wax

unsignificantly
off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning