After taking in this photo and wondering what could possibly be going on here, reading William Carlos Williams’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” will help explain it. The poem conveys exactly what is going on in this scene:
|Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
William Carlos Williams
According to Brueghel
a farmer was ploughing
of the year was
sweating in the sun
a splash quite unnoticed
“According to Bruegel,” a single man who captured the moment Icarus fell in his art, the time of year was spring. There was a farmer ploughing. The sun beat down. This sweltering sun melted Icarus’s wax wings, causing him to fall from the sky and drown, unnoticed by his surroundings.
This poem follows the Greek myth of the tragedy of Icarus, in which Icarus’s father fashions wax wings on his son in order to escape imprisonment. Against his father’s warnings to stay out of the sun, Icarus foolishly continued flying as the sun melted his wings.