The Fall of Icarus

The myth of Icarus is one of my favorite, and it gladdens me to see that mythic truth can yet inform. Icarus killed himself during his flight from imprisonment; overwhelmed by freedom, Icarus was undone by his own brash foolishness.

I hope that the Democratic takeover of the House may herald the beginning of the fall of a President who matches Icarus in degree of foolishness; but unlike Icarus, is undeserving and unworthy of sympathy.

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One Response to The Fall of Icarus

  1. Steve says:

    There’s a painting that inspired Auden to write this about Icarus:

    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
    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.

    It may not be relevant, but I’ll take the excuse to share it.

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