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Comment 13 of 83, added on January 4th, 2012 at 10:56 PM.
Smart thinking - a celver way of looking at it.
from Saudi Arabia
Comment 12 of 83, added on August 7th, 2011 at 10:24 AM.
I thought that the poem was written in a friendly way towards Icarus as an
Comment 11 of 83, added on July 1st, 2010 at 8:38 AM.
To a Friend Whose Work Has Come To Triumph
Seems to me that the poem is a warning to a friend, that a moment of
triumph may ulimately end in success or failure, so take care! More
importantly, Sexton obviously must have known the poem by William Butler
Yeats - "To a Friend Whose Work Has Come To Nothing" and so it is more
likely that Yeats' poem may have been addressed to a real person and
Sexton's may not.
from United Kingdom
Comment 10 of 83, added on January 7th, 2010 at 11:46 PM.
But isn't the poem also about how no one cares about him? See, "Who cares
that he fell back to the sea?" Sounds slightly verbally ironic if you ask
me. That might not be the theme, but it's true, right? Or why not, if you
don't think so?
Katie from United States
Comment 9 of 83, added on October 6th, 2008 at 8:12 PM.
For those of you who don't know, Sexton is placing more emphasis on Icarus'
flight than his descent because the message of the poem is that triumph is
more remarkable than failure. She wrote this poem after her mentor, W.D.
Snodgrass, won the Pulitzer Prize.
Comment 8 of 83, added on March 31st, 2007 at 8:16 AM.
i think that anne sexton wrote this poem for a friend of hers. she
mentions, 'consider icarus'. i suppose she is telling her friend to take
icarus as an example, as he might have FAILED, but in a way, he still
Comment 7 of 83, added on December 18th, 2005 at 3:43 AM.
I didn't interperet the title to be taken in a "Icarus triumphed because of
his father's work" way. I understood it more in a "his father's work
triumphed because Icarus did" way. A slight difference, but more
meaningful, I think. Of course, poetry is subjective...
Comment 6 of 83, added on October 31st, 2005 at 9:56 AM.
One of the other themes in the poem is that triumph requires sacrifice.
Nothing comes easily. Often the sacrifice is that the one who triumphs is
seen as unusual or strange--witness the 'shocked starlings' who look at
Icarus as a thing that is in the wrong place and the 'sensible daddy' who
will, undoubtedly be congratulated for being so sensible. One of the
reasons for success, Sexton says, is that one is willing to be exceptional.
By the way, your site misquotes line 12. It should end with "Who cares that
he fell back to the sea?" The poem is a sonnet, and scansion is important
to the form of the poem.
Elizabeth from United States
Comment 5 of 83, added on October 13th, 2005 at 12:30 PM.
The title of this poem is not one that is meant to be taken literally.
Triumph? Icarus did not triumph. He did nothing to be triumphant, his
father gave him the wings. To recieve this from her is an insult. Saying
that your "triumph" was short-lived and ignorable. Sure he gave it his
best effort....to bad it wasn't good enough. This also shows how just
because he is a youth it's different. If he was an adult he would have
been considered stupid for not heeding the warning.
Jake from United States
Comment 4 of 83, added on September 25th, 2005 at 12:20 PM.
I definetly agree. It says how it is more important to take the risk and
fail than to follow the "safe" path, as Daedalus did. Icarus lived a
shorter, yet more complete life, rather than living long, boring.
Alicia from United States
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