Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Bruegel the Elder Painting, William Carlos William Poem ; Art Inspiring Poetry: Rattle’s Monthly Ekphrastic Challenge

Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Bruegel the Elder – 1. Web Gallery of Art 2. The Bridgeman Art Library, Object 3675 / Public Domain

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

© Estate William Carlos Williams

From Collected Poems: 1939-1962, Volume II [recommended] by William Carlos Williams, published by New Directions Publishing Corp. © 1962 by William Carlos Williams

William Carlos Williams (1883 –1963) was an American poet and physician closely associated with modernism and imagism. In addition to his writing, Williams had a long career as a physician practicing both pediatrics and general medicine. He was affiliated with Passaic General Hospital, where he served as the hospital’s chief of pediatrics from 1924 until his death.


Each month Rattle presents a new piece of visual art to inspire poets and we have one month to write and submit via Submittable. Two poems will be chosen and awarded with digital publication and $100. The deadline for this month is March 31. Details HERE. No submission fee.

PLEASE NOTE: The photograph of Kenneth Borg is the Challenge for March 2020, as you will note if you carefully read the publisher’s directions. I put up William Carlos Williams’ work here as an example of ekphrastic poetry because this may be new to some readers. I didn’t mean to confuse. Always – ALWAYS – follow the publisher’s direction, after reading carefully.

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