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More poems by Rainer Maria RilkeRainer Maria Rilke | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments (5) | Books by Rainer Maria RilkeBooks by Rainer Maria Rilke

Archaic Torso Of Apollo

Rainer Maria Rilke

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast's fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.


Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Added: 30 May 2002 | Last Read: 21 Aug 2017 5:38 PM | Viewed: 17832 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4486/ | Viewed on 21 August 2017.
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