Edward Field Icarus

672 Words3 Pages
What happens to a hero when they have fallen from glory, and been forgotten? In his poem “Icarus”, Edward Field provides a rather tragic answer through Icarus’s fall into modern society and anonymity. The poem itself is an allusion to the myth of Icarus’s ill-fated adventure, and takes place after Icarus falls into the ocean and into a contemporary world. Using modern diction, with words like “police” or “suburb”, dark imagery that shows how far Icarus has fallen, and stark contrasts between modern and ancient Greek society, Field successfully assimilates the tale of Icarus into modern times. The fact that the setting is in modern society becomes apparent in the first stanza; the appearance of modern diction such as “police” as well as a “gang war” makes it clear to the reader that Icarus is not in ancient Greece anymore, but in present-day society. They also provide a negative connotation to that same society, emphasizing that Icarus has fallen from glory into disgrace. Not just that, but he becomes known as “nice Mr.…show more content…
In the third stanza, this imagery becomes especially significant. At night, Icarus sits and “probes his wounds”, providing a mental picture of a person who has been defeated and is tending to his injuries. But during the day, he attempts to fly once more, with the “curtains carefully drawn” so as to avoid the ridicule that would magnify his shame. Yet Icarus “fails every time, and hates himself for trying”(25). The appearance of Icarus here is of a person who desperately tries to achieve feats that are well beyond his power, and together, the images evoke pity from the readers. It is this sense of pity that informs us of how the monotony of his suburban environment has transformed Icarus from a hero, who once flew in the sky on mighty wings, into a secluded individual who cannot even reach the height of a lighting

More about Edward Field Icarus

Open Document