William C. Williams (1883-1963)
Careless of his father's suggestion, Icarus came to fly higher and higher towards the sun. Ultimately, the heat of the sun melted wings' wax. Then Icarus fell to the sea and died. When he fell nothing paid attention to his tragic death.
The poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" is about human nature of indifference. The poet takes the reference of mythological character Icarus to talk about human tendency to indifference. When Icarus fell from the sky, it was spring and a farmer was ploughing his field. Similarly, the edge of the sea was concerned with itself. Furthermore, the sun too had no pity upon Icarus. Nobody liked to hear the splash of Icarus drowning. The poem establishes a theme of growing selfishness and individualism among mankind. At present no one has time to think and worry about others' problems. A human is generally defined as a social and cultural being. But under the impact of commercialization and monetary value, a man has no time and interest to be generous, kind and supportive. Fall of Icarus is the fall of humanity. It also signals degrading human values and essence of human living. Both nature and humans behaved Icarus equally. The farmer could support Icarus and keep him alive. Similarly, both the sun and the sea had no sincerity to think about Icarus. The poem is about the journey of human beings from the origin of social being to individual being. In competitive world, a person has no time to turn back and worry about anybody else. Here, Icarus is the representation of ordinary human being.
The poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" is ironical towards the general meaning of mankind, spring, farmer and the nature. The poet silently attacks human nature and their interest in the self. Generally, mankind is supposed to be social, co-operative, kind and helpful. But such interpretation has turned to be in agreeable one. Different than general belief, modern people are fully private, individual, selfish and so on. That's why poem is explicitly ironical to the definition of mankind.
In the poem, the spring season is portrayed as the setting of Icarus's drowning. Generally, spring is closely related to the idea of harmony, love, new birth, growth, romance, and pleasure. But quite differently, the spring results into the unexpected demise of Icarus, at the cost of all-round rejection and negligence by both human and nature. Even the spring turns to be cruel and brutal when a man has no time and interest to worry and suffers about other's suffering. In such pretext, spring season has been ironically presented in the poem. The Idea of farmer is also equally ironical. We suppose a farmer to be far from selfishness and individual interest. But even the farmer had no interest and time to watch and worry the fall of Icarus. It means that the modern farmers are like other city people. Similarly, the idea of nature has been ironically presented in this poem. Unlike mankind nature is taken as equally loving, caring and resourceful to mankind. But, both the sun and the sea have no interest in the continual existence of Icarus.
The poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" is a modern poem with some original and experimental stylistic techniques. This poem is a plain description of a printing by Brughel about the fall of a mythological character Icarus. The poem is about an ordinary issue i.e. fall of a man. The poem has a deliberately violated the themes of language, grammar and structure. We see no punctuation marks throughout the poem. The poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" is about human nature of indifference. The poet takes the reference of mythological character Icarus to talk about human tendency to indifference. When Icarus fell from the sky, it was spring and a farmer was ploughing his field. Similarly, the edge of the sea was concerned with itself. Furthermore, the sun too had no pity upon Icarus. Nobody liked to hear the splash of Icarus drowning. The poem establishes a theme of growing selfishness and individualism among mankind. At present, no one has time to think and worry about others' problems.
The poem is not bounded by any poetic principles of rhyme, rhythm and other musical elements. But somewhere we find long distance rhyme with no deliberate purpose. The considerably short length of each stanza creates a feeling of unimportance. The poet does attempt to describe the scene in depth as the people have denied paying attention to this accident. The organization of poem is so unique that each stanza is short, usually, containing a sentence or less. Similarly, the poem looks unusual in its stanza breakup. The poem is concluded in twenty-one lines with three lines in each stanza. Only the first word of the poem is available in capital letter. Throughout the poem we find incomplete sentences with no proper agreement between the parts of speech. The poem is in the tercet style of writing which consists of three line groups and each line has no more than four words. This poem reads like a short story as it is quick to point out the images a person would get in their head looking in painting. The poet describes everything from the painting so literally from the season of spring to the splash of Icarus drowning. The poet seems neutral about the case of Icarus falling. He only puts some clear-cut imagery to provide his message and thought.
The poet seems quite conscious while choosing words. He heavily depends on imagery and juxtaposition of words, referring the ideas of death and human indifference in it. William Carols Williams as a neutral person, he speaks through some images that appeal various senses of the readers. In this particular poem, both sound imagery and visual imagery have been appropriately used. Under the visual imagery, we sense 'his field, 'edge of the sea', 'wings wax' and 'off the coast'. Similarly, the poem also contains sound imagery. Sound imagery is contained in the phrases 'awake tingling' and 'a splash quite unnoticed'. In this way, images have been aptly used in this poem to speak the message of growing indifference on the side of human beings. All the visual imagery remained indifferent to helpless Icarus. The theme of the poem is that what is a tragedy to one person will often be a matter of complete indifference to the rest of the world. In the poem, some unpleasant contrasts are made. Here, in the poem, we get contrast between spring and fell, Icarus drowning and the year was awake tingling, a farmer was ploughing and a splash quite unnoticed etc. The landscape of the poem is lively even merry. The word pageantry suggests celebration and merriment .The year was awake, it means the world of nature was full of life and movement. We are told that the world in which Icarus falls to earth is "concerned with itself" and the adverb "unsignificantly" is used to express the attitude of the farmer to the catastrophe of Icarus. Even when everything was in favour of life, Icarus came to lose his life mercilessly and without getting human sight on his falling. This juxtaposition of life and death is meant to force the reader from his/her complacency and question their own attitude towards the suffering of the others.