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The Corn Harvest and The Harvesters

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  • Pages: 2
  • Word count: 372
  • Category: Poems

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            William Carlos Williams wrote the poem The Corn Harvest as a response to the painting The Harvesters by Pieter Brueghel.   Poetry and art are similar because they both represent much more than what is actually there.  They rely on the experience of the reader and viewer to bring a different interpretation for each person.  However, The Corn Harvest is where one artist analyses the work of another with his view of the painting.

            Williams focuses on the lower right of the painting.  The whole painting depicts a large cornfield with seven visible workers in the field.  Yet, the center of the action of the poem is with what is taking place under the tree.  He shows interest in the young man taking a rest from the rest of the workers and the women who are attending to the young man.  He creates a story of them bringing him lunch and gossiping to lighten their work load while the young man is shutting out everything so that he can rest.

            Brueghel has used different shades of gold an green to create a sense of the natural world.  The large area of corn symbolizes the vastness of the work of farmers.  It reminds the viewer that the work is not easy, therefore, rest is important to those who do the work.  The young man resting and the women are taking pleasure in the simple pleasures of life.  The large tree in the center of the painting brings the field and the rest together because it is providing shade to the women and the resting young man and the workers in the field because the tree is an element of nature.

            Williams obviously analyzes the painting well because he saw a story in the painting.  However, he did not focus on the painting as a whole.  The cornfield itself was mostly ignored as well as the other workers.  The fact that he centers on the one area is what many people do when they view a piece of art.  He leaves the rest of the painting for another to analyze.

Works Cited

Brueghel, Pieter. The Harvesters. 1565.

Williams, William Carlos. The Corn Harvest.

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