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Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus Poem Analysis

Discuss the major elements of an analysis of William Carlos Williams' "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus."

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“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.

The myth

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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Landscape with the fall of Icarus


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