Greek mythology had always been an interest of mine. The poem Musee des Beux Arts by W.H Auden and Anne Sexton’s To a Friend Whose Come to Triumph are both based on the myth of Icarus both poet based their poetry on a painting by Pieter Brueghel on The Landscape of The Fall of Icarus. W.H Auden was enamored by Brueghel’s painting that he wrote about it. Anne Sexton’s poem was a poetical response to William Butler Yeats poem’s To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing
Both Auden and Sexton’s poems are based on life. Audens’s Poem leans more about the indifference of others sufferings in which offers a pragmatic vision of the ways innocence and passivity is one and the same. Sexton’s poem leans more on seizing the day, taking chances, and living in the moment. The outcome of the poems is similar but the message that both poet tries to convey are different.
Auden used simplistic and descriptive languages as imagery, for example on line 4 In Auden’s poem, “While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;” he layered multiple occurrences on top of another, creating portraits of everyday life. The “Old Masters” that he had eluded in the second line of the poem is the “Old Masters” of the art world. The rest of the poem is in reference to Pieter Brueghel’s painting “The landscape with the fall of Icarus”. Its allusion comforts and gives a specific image to the readers. This poem was written in free verse with no metrical pattern. The reference to “Old Masters” and museums and old paintings creates a tension with the simple language and mundane qualities of Auden's form. The disparity between the two is an intentional move, one intended to demonstrate how even simple subjects and language can be part of a great tradition. The tension could be a way for Auden to demonstrate that there is no tension between great art and commonplace emotions. Even mythical characters get scared when they're falling, especially when they're falling out of the sky.
Anne sexton’s “To a Friend Who has Come to Triumph” tries to convey the whole concept that there is still a positive outlook on the Fall of Icarus, which is carpe diem, in which means seizing the day.
Besides the title Musee des Beux Arts in Brussels, Belgium as the setting of the poem, it can also be inferred that it took place during the 16th century, because of the plowmen and the children playing at the pond and the ships. It can also be inferred that it took place in ancient Greece, because of the myth and where Icarus came from. The setting of the poem reinforces the theme that sufferings and passivity can happen anywhere. Auden describes the way that people never pays attention to the sufferings around them, yet his...