upon being asked to make a poem out of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”

by richibi

                  “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”, c.1558

                            Pieter Bruegel, the Elder



                                                                                                                                                                      upon being asked to make a poem out of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”                                             

                                                                                                                                      what is a poem, the question came up around my earlier errant composition, was what I’d written a poem, though one could be made out between the, dare I say, ivied even cracks
something that rhymes, my mom answered when I asked, which mine of course didn’t
though mellifluous and rhythmic maybe, and peppered here and there with inventive and artful devices – metaphors, alliteration, onomatopeia, the like, the meat and potatoes, the very stuff, I think, of poems – I still didn’t rhyme, don’t rhyme, and run a sentence on mostly much too long for a proper pentameter
like, I guess, a prose poem 
or maybe even just prose

but about the Bruegel


at the back a radiant sun dominates the picture, sheds not only light but life on everything, the sky is thick with grays and blue and takes on actual dimension, whereas a more silken application of paint to the sun makes that orb evanescent, a portal into heaven, a source instead of a force, an opening instead of an engine
in the foreground a farmer ploughs his field, another tends his sheep, life is going on despite the splendour 
no one notices Icarus either, the flailing figure in the waves, bottom right, drowning, despite the might of the myth, the potency, the poignancy, of the poetry
but who notices even poetry 
across a stretch of water to the horizon and to at its edge the resplendent sun, ships with sails, indeed medieval galleons, sit in the placid harbour of a city in the blue crook of, upper left, a range of mountains, the City of God of Augustine maybe for its iridescent pastels, for its sunlit gold maybe the gilded Greek Atlantis  
                                                                                                                                                                       above the flailing Icarus a ship is setting joyful sail out towards the promise of the blazing sun, the way seems clear

there will be other, it appears, Icaruses

                                                                                                                                                               medieval caricaturization and perspective inextricably of course obtain throughout