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Published by jack elliot




About suffering they were never wrong, 

The Old Masters; how well, they understood 

Its human position; how it takes place 

While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; 

How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting 

For the miraculous birth, there always must be 

Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating 

On a pond at the edge of the wood: 

They never forgot 

That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course 

Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot 

Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse

Scratches its innocent behind on a tree. 

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away 

Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may 

Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry, 

But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone

As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green 


and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen 

Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, 

had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

Copyright © 1976 by Edward Mendelson, William Meredith and Monroe K. Spears, 
Executors of the Estate of W. H. Auden.



W.H. Auden Society
Literary society commemorating the life and works of W.H. Auden. Lots of links to his works and related items. 


University of Gent: Poem from Four Weddings and a Funeral
 the poem.




The Academy of American Poets: WH Auden 
Entry about Auden, his life and his works and a few links.

ICARUS (the myth):
A quick synopsis of the boy, the wings, the legend. Including an excerpt from Ovid's Metamorphoses which describes in detail Ovid's point of view on the matter.

The Story of Icarus
Someone's personal redition of the perils of Icarus.

Icarus Rising
Site with a nice story of the legend of Icarus, while at the same time paying tribute to the crew of STS-51L.

Site with extensive critique of Ovid's Metamorposis.

Allusions - Icarus Site Map 
A site with information on works of art (painting and literature) that refer to the myth of Icarus. Obviously a school related site, so the info is very related to assignment for that course.

BREUGHEL (the elder):
Breughel's Work
Quality large scale images of some of Breughel's paintings.

Discovering Breughel
A bit about Breughel, where he lived where he worked and the convenient option of taking a tour of the Breughel hotspots in Brussels.

Ultimate Saver- Breughel
Place where you can download a screensaver which displays Breughel's work.

Breughel -Encyclopedia
Columbia Encyclopedia entry about Breughel (the family).


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