Landscape with the Fall of Icarus

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

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

—William Carlos Williams, 1962

By William Carlos Williams, from Collected Poems 1939-1962, Volume II, copyright © 1962 by William Carlos Williams. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corp.

Home page image: "Wegbereiter Ikarus," print, woodblock on paper, by Wilhelm Geissler, 1966. (Courtesy NASM)

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