In Response To:
Musee des Beaus Arts
The poem talks about human life. The speaker thinks suffering will take place at anytime, while you are eating, walking and doing anything. I think lines 5-8refer to The Census at Bethlehem, 9-13 refer to The Massacre of the Innocents and the remaining lines refer to Landscape with the Fall of Icarus.
Icarus' story is that he and his father once be besieged in a labyrinth, however, they escaped there. He was too young and impetuous, he flew so high that he was burn by the sun and fell into the sea. The painting just shows his leg in the corner. In the first stanza, the example of human suffering, one is that "when the aged waiting for the miraculous birth", but the children show no care to it, they just play with each other. The other is that "They never forget that even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course," while the dogs and the torturer's horse still live their life, they don't understand what is suffering and they don't care about it, either.
In the second stanza, everyone saw Icarus, but nobody gave him a hand. I think "drowning" is symbolic of human suffering. The plowman only cares about his own harvest and don't have time and energy to care suffering. The expensive ship also sailed away calmly, that show the upper class doesn't care suffering, either. For them, suffering seems a common thing that often happen, and they accept it without any word. Maybe they know they can never escape from suffering, it is a part of life. If they pay lots attention to it, they will get more pain, so their ignore is a kind of decreasing pain.
In this poem, the sentence length is irregular, but its rhythm seems has some regularity, such as, spot and forgot, wood and understood. It seems that life composes of regularity and irregularity. I think this poem is really different form "The Dance", though they all describe the paintings. The dance seems lively and when I read it I want to dance with those people. The speaker uses round and round and around to create a movement. The first and last sentence is the same, that also make round again. Anyway this poem can make people happy.