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Poetry is often more than just a bunch of words on a page.  Many poets like to create pictures with words like artists and sculptors with paints and with clay.  Some poets write because of a work of art that has deeply effected them.  Come into the world of the "visual" text and see art through the poets' pen.

Look at the picture on one of the sites below:
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus
Brueghel Painting

Take a close look and then write a short description of the picture.  Describe what is in it in general, what is in the foreground (closest to you) and in the background. Is there anything missing from this picture or anything surprising about it?  Does it have a theme?
This painting has:

Write a new title for this painting:

Next, read the myth by Ovid that connects to this picture.

The Fall of Icarus

Think about the painting and how it connects to the myth. 
What morals or lessons does the myth teach? Does it deal with things like pride or arrogance or apathy?  How does it connect to the painting?  Where is Icarus and what is happening around him?  Think about Icarus and the painting, and then write down some of your thoughts below.

The connection between the painting and the myth :

Now, read the poem by Auden at one of the sites below:
Auden Poem

How does this connect to the painting and the myth?  How does it connect to the lessons of the myth?  How does it deal with pride or arrogance or apathy?
This painting, the myth and the poem:


Go to the site below and choose one of the pictures that you like the best.  Think of how it adds to your understanding of this story.  Write about your feelings now that you've seen how important this myth was in the history of art.  Look at this picture and think of how it tries to deal with this story.    How does it change your feelings about the myth, the poem and the previous painting?

My favorite view of the Fall of Icarus is:  (Write your ideas about this totally different point of view.)

© 1999, Amal Pedagogical Technological Center