The Harvesters is oil on wood painting by Pieter Brueghel in 1565. The painting is one in a series of six works, five of which are still extant, that describe different times of the year. The focus is on peasants and their work. Some of the peasants are shown eating while others are harvesting wheat. Brueghel’s panel anchors you in the stability of the foreground with its exhausted and famished peasants clustered. The poem “The Corn Harvest” by William Carlos Williams mostly focuses on the sleeping reaper under the tree.
The Harvesters shows the month of August. The overwhelming impression conveyed by the picture is oppressive heat. In foreground the landscape a group of peasants are shown harvesting the wheat that earlier in the year they have ploughed and planted. Men are busy cutting the wheat, while some go about gathering and binding it into neat upright stooks, arranged aslant against one another. At the center of the picture, a group of laborers are resting from their toil. They rest in the shade of a tree from sun, looking the bright yellow wheat fields that surround them. Several of the women wear hats, as they eat their food and munch on their bread, cutting with some effort, judging by the straining arms of the peasant reaching down to slice another piece.
In his poem The Corn Harvest, William Carlos Williams emphasizes and highlights the feeling of someone resting. Each of the three lined short stanzas reinforces the feeling of being tired while being read. This poem describes the obvious details of the painting, but by doing so it sets the mood of the poem because of its structure and lack of rhyme scheme. Williams starts this poem with one word, “Summer!”(1) setting the scene. Summer can symbolize many things like fun, freedom, heat, or an exciting and carefree time. Williams is making a comment about teenage youth and their laziness “rest/completely/Relaxing/ from his morning labors/sprawled” (5-9). In these lines, he states that...