Rainer Maria Rilke

(4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926 / Prague / Czech Republic)

Archaic Torso of Apollo


We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
........................
........................
read full text »


Do you like this poem?
13 person liked.
3 person did not like.

Form:


Comments about this poem (Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rilke )

  • Rookie Václav Z J Pinkava (6/26/2013 5:03:00 PM)

    Archaic Torso of Apollo

    We cannot know his legendary head
    wherein eye-apples ripened. Even so
    his torso's lasting candelabra-glow,
    in which his gaze, with light held back, instead

    holds fast and shines. Else scarcely would the curve
    of chest bedazzle you, soft gasped meanwhile
    loins could not draw a breath to bring a smile
    to that dark core of procreation's verve.

    If not, this stone would seem all too degraded
    under the shoulders to translucence faded
    without a glint of predatory mane;

    nor break the bars confining, out to range
    just like a star: for there is no domain
    hid from that gaze. It's time your life must change.

    (transl vzjp) (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Christopher Manuel Garc�a Vega (12/31/2009 12:34:00 AM)

    the poem seems to be suffused with the idea that a piece of art is a whole in itself. Rilke turns the beheaded Apollo into a living statue that at the end of the poem appears to be looking back at the admirer. there is this sensation that each part of the incomplete sculpture has a life of its own as the poet posits his eyes on them; and after a while this life that the poet communicates to the immobile statue is stolen by it to make a part of itself... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Jeremy Trabue (6/9/2008 2:39:00 PM)

    This translation is by Stephen Mitchell. It should be credited here. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Tony Best (10/9/2007 7:13:00 AM)

    Rilke wrote in german. One of my favorite poems, I love the last line 'you must change your life.' Rilke was a master. His years with Rodin certainly paid off, I love how he describes the torso. Also, the inner brillance, and how when looking at a masterpiece it reminds one of greek gods. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Frank Lekens (9/19/2007 9:31:00 AM)

    Rilke wrote in English?

    Or did Babelfish translate this? (Report) Reply

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. If, Rudyard Kipling
  7. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
[Hata Bildir]