Icarus: A Tanka

Rising, a man-bird

weightless, embracing the clouds,

heedless in his youth,

soaring with wax-crafted wings

he falls, forever at sea



“The Fall of Icarus,” Copy after Peter Paul Rubens

John G. Johnson Collection, 1917, Philadelphia Museum of Art


This is for  Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Tanka Challenge

The prompt words were “craft” and “rise.”



22 thoughts on “Icarus: A Tanka

  1. This was an unusual way to look at this, in the painting’s depiction. I’m used to the sun melting the wax in a visual picture, the body twisting was quite vivid. To end up in the sea is the outcome, “forever at sea,” as you expressed.
    Your description in the form of a tanka was beautiful, Merril.

    • Thank you so much, Robin!
      As I explained to Frank, I had a difficult time finding an image I liked, but this one showed them both in the air. I think it was the moment Icarus went from feeling sheer joy to terror.

  2. Pingback: Colleen’s Weekly #Tanka #Poetry Challenge #20 – “Angel & Devil” – Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

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