“Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” was written by William Carlos Williams who wrote under the labels of modernist and imagist. He favored the preciseness of imagery with clear, sharp language. The intention was to illustrate his scenes without using symbols and minimal figurative language which might take away from his image. His poetry is meant to show impressions as masterful creations that are to be held aloft and reassuring to the reader.
This poem is based on a landscape painting by Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the elder, which portrays a scene from Greek mythology but is set in the time of the artist. William’s purpose was to put words to the scene of the painting.
Icarus, son of Daedalus, took flight from imprisonment wearing the fragile wings his father had fashioned for him. Heedless of his father's warning to keep over the sea and avoid flying too close to the sun, the exuberant boy flew too near to the burning sun, which melted his wings. Icarus hurtled to...
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