Sweating in the sun that melted the wings' wax

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avidsuper

Senior Member
Japanese
My questions are based on William Carlos Williams's poem "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus"

The poem can be accessed here: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus by William Carlos Williams - Poems | poets.org

Williams does not use punctuation marks and the stanzas are not in self-contained grammatical units, which makes it difficult for readers to parse the poem.

Here are my two questions 1) is the "the whole pageantry of the year was awake tingling near the edge of the sea concerned with itself" a complete sentence? If so, what does "concerned with itself" mean? Does the "itself" here refer to "the whole pageantry“, meaning everything and everybody just focused on themselves, ignoring Icarus's plight?

2) What is the logical subject of "sweating in the sun that melted the wings' wax"? "The whole pageantry" again? If so, then "the whole pageantry of the year was awake tingling near the edge of the sea concerned with itself sweating in the sun that melted the wings' wax" makes a complete sentence. Am I correct?
 
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  • Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    I think the subject of "sweating in the sun" is "a farmer" up in the fourth line. The sun is affecting two people; it's already caused Icarus' wings to fall apart and it may be about to cause the farmer to take off his cloak.
     
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