Poetry Friday the first

Welcome to Poetry Friday. Every Friday of this month, in honor of National Poetry Month, a staff member will choose a poem that is a particular favorite. This week we present a selection from Ron. Also, don’t forget that we are having a friendly competition this month where you can submit your own poems. Click here to learn all the details.

NPM_LOGOI have to start with a confession: I am not a big poetry fan. However, the poems of William Carlos Williams astound me. Although he wrote in many styles, brief descriptions that create stunningly vivid images are what Williams is known best for.

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is a painting by Pieter Bruegel (see below) depicting a bucolic scene filled with busy people going about their lives. In the distance one can see a small pair of legs sticking out of a body of water. Presumably this is Icarus.

Given that the story of Icarus is a myth of epic proportions showing the folly of hubris, the beauty of this painting for me lies in the triviality of Icarus within the bigger picture of life. Williams describes it quite beautifully.

landscape-with-the-fall-of-icarus-pieter-the-elder-bruegel

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

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