Response to Poem: "The Parable of the Blind" by William Carlos Williams

I hear a description of the image shown. I hear nothing more. I've read this poem over and over and have yet to get anything more. These are the writings that make me wonder, exactly what does a poem make? Can anyone write stanzas and claim they are poetry?  So... as usual, I did some research on the image shown.

Pieter Brueghel, The Parable of the Blind (linked to Matthew 15:14)

Jesus had told his disciples that it was not necessary to wash hands before eating. Scribes and Pharisees who heared about this were infuriated, as it was a clear breach of Jewish law. When the disciples informed Jesus about that, he replied that the Pharisees were blind leading the blind, and that all would end up falling into the ditch. The disciples should pay no attention to them.

Pieter Bruegel depicts in his painting the subject literally. The expressions on the faces range from trust to surprise and shock. The church in the background emphasizes Bruegel's message: do not blindly follow leaders that lead you away from the Church, or you will end up in trouble.

Bruegel usually painted details with great care, after studying the subject extensively. Ophthalmologists are said to be able to recognize five different eye diseases in this painting.


After reading this description, I am now more interested in the painting and less interested in the poem. Quite fascinating.

To leave a comment, please sign in with
or or