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Icarus

Poetry Presentation
by Amanda Meroux on 7 March 2013

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Transcript of Icarus

Edward Field "Icarus" Title Title is a single word, "Icarus"
Vaguely knew the Greek story of Icarus and his fall
theme might have something to do with failed ambitions or the failure to listen to a warning Paraphrase Police find feathers and a hat floating in a body of water and assume somebody drowned.
Icarus is actually alive and swims to the city where he falls into the stereotypical life of a common man
He doesn't tell his neighbors of his extraordinary past, although he reminisces often and wonders if he would ever be able to fly again.
He tries to fly, but fails and ends up stuck in the monotonous cycle of suburban life - wishing that the ending of his original Greek story still held true Connotation
-Meaning beyond literal level The contemporary world is oftentimes too distracting and/or people are too busy to take notice or care about the deeper meaning behind something or someone. Attitude solemn w/glimmers of faint hope
at times satiric towards modern life
reader feels sorry for Icarus even though he "lives" in this version
speaker is pessimistic - there is nothing to be done for somebody who has felt the freedom of flight TP-CASTT Analysis Shifts in Tone Revisiting the Title Overarching Themes Multiple themes: Born: June 7, 1924 Brooklyn, New York and grew up on Long Island
Played the cello for the Field Family Trio for a radio program known as WGBB Freeport
Served in WWII in the 8th Air Force
Navigator of heavy bombers - 25 missions over Europe
Began writing poetry during WWII
Edited anthologies of poetry, translated Eskimo songs and stories, wrote the narration for the film To Be Alive
This film won an Academy Award for the best documentary in 1965
Collaborated with Neil Derrick on popular novels under the pseudonym Bruce Elliot
88 years old today Biography of the Poet - Edward Field Initial Thoughts More than just a poem about the Greek story
The year the poem was written: 1950
hopes and dreams of grandeur; the reality of the "perfect life"
Icarus is relocated in a contemporary setting; shows that it is extremely common for somebody to have had an extraordinary life in their past, or had once dreamed of greatness Symbolism Juxtaposition Irony/Satire Icarus symbolizes a man or woman who once had hopes and dreams, but realizes they will never be reached.
-or one who led an incredible life, but is just like everybody else now Icarus' time and that of today/contemporary society
-people would be incredulous of Icarus' feat of flying in his time, as there is a Greek myth in his name
-today's society, people don't seem to care; one's own life is plenty to worry about Satire on contemporary life:
"the police preferred to ignore..."
"gang war"
"tended the garden"
"disturb their neat front yards"
"that nice Mr. Hicks" 2 main shifts:

-"but it was wrong: Icarus..."
---a drowned person is suddenly found to be alive

-"but now rides commuter..."
---realization that his heroic days are over; acceptance Little change
After researching the full story of Icarus, discovered that another theme may be present:
People should be content with what they have; it is wise to live within one's means 1. People have many dreams and aspirations at a young age, but more often than not, these dreams fall through and are forgotten.
2. There is always much more to a person than "that nice Mr. Hicks" - people have varying backgrounds even if they put on an ordinary facade.
3. There exists a wisdom of living within one's limits; people should be happy with what they already have.
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