XVII and with the Fall of Icarus Comparison/Commentary "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus", a poem written by William Carlos Williams, describes the oil painting of the same name, by Pieter Breughel the Elder who was a Flemish Renaissance painter of the 16th century. The picture depicts the death of Icarus, the son of Daedalus who was a craftsman in Greek mythology. Icarus who is drowning remains unnoticed in the painting and the poem. The possible themes of selflessness and oneness in both the painting and the poem (although ironically) are also encountered in "Meditation XVII" by John Donne. John Donne, a preacher and poet who has lived through the 16th and 17th centuries, has described the unity and coherence of each and every individual living, as a part of the whole. In his prose Meditation XVII, he has stated rather metaphorically that when someone passes away from this world, it should be of everyone's concern. Since, he continues, every human being is like a page of one book (a book written by God), everyone makes up a whole. But, he expounds, when people die, the pages of the book are not torn, but are translated into another language, which shows that the poet believes in some sort of an afterlife. But, according to John Donne, since every human being is together to make one product, when someone passes away, it means that a part of you has left this world. So as John Donne has stated "any man death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee." The writing is strictly concentrated on unity, and is a spiritual preach which involves the Catholic and pantheistic thoughts of John Donne. The idea of being one with all human beings and similar metaphysical concepts and beliefs are explicitly, but metaphorically clear in Meditation XVII; and John Donne has been one of the first poets to write these. The poem Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is a very short, but if perused, is a rather thematic piece of work written in the 20th century. This poem emphasizes on the exact opposite of what John Donne had suggested; being one with the entire mankind. It indicates Icarus drowning in the sea, and the villagers by the shore unbeknownst of this, maintaining their carelessness. The painting which is the original inspiration source of the poem shows this better; however the poem also visualizes the fact that nobody notices Icarus drowning. The poem's structure is also directly related to what happens to a person who is looking at the painting for the first time (barely noticing Icarus at the bottom right corner), because it does not reveal that he is drowning, until the very last two lines. All other details are described in the poem, but the actual tragedy of Icarus is revealed at the end, thus surprising the reader. These are very obvious hints of the themes of the poem: individualism and carelessness. The themes remind us of the main idea of Meditation XVII, but in an ironic manner. Meditation XVII had passed on the idea that all mankind is one piece, and therefore when someone dies, it must diminish everyone, because a part of them has passed away. This poem touches those points ironically, and therefore shares opposite but related themes with Meditation XVII. "a farmer was ploughing his field" shows that the people were continuing to do what they were busy with at the moment, which is later on strengthened with "the edge of the sea concerned with itself" Although it is not very clear what is 'concerned with itself', it might mean that the sea is concerned with itself, therefore implying a meaning that even the sea that Icarus drowned in was not paying attention to him; visualizing a more vivid emotion than the painting itself. These ideas directly coincide (ironically) with the ones in Meditation XVII. Since this poem, unlike Meditation XVII, does not try to preach an idea to the reader, it can be seen as an example of how the visions of pantheism and selflessness must be applied, which were the key points of Meditation XVII. "Unsignificantly off the coast there was a splash quite unnoticed this was Icarus drowning" makes up the last stanzas, and is an obvious indicator of Icarus' unfortunate death, caused by nobody noticing, or ignoring the tragic event. Irony is an important issue that is seen when these two literary writings are compared, and can be used to imply lots of meanings, especially when a tiny flick of the imaginative human mind is in action. Literature can be interpreted in several ways, which is possibly why many broadminded, creative people have chosen to express themselves using different tools and techniques in the past, and still do in the present. I am sure much more similarities between Meditation XVII and Landscape with the Fall of Icarus can be found if explored enough, however the more obvious and possibly effective ones have been hopefully clarified in this text.