Return to Encyclopaedia Romana
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
Water; 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.
W. H. Auden, Musée des Beaux Arts
The picture is The Fall of Icarus by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1558), which is in the Musée des Beaux Arts (Brussels), visited by Auden in 1938.