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    Rainer Maria Rilke - Archaic Torso Of Apollo

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    poetictouch

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    Paul Muldoon reads and comments on Rainer Maria Rilke's Archaic Torso Of Apollo

    Archaic Torso Of Apollo
    by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

    We never knew his head and all the light
    that ripened in his fabled eyes. But
    his torso still glows like a candelabra,
    in which his gazing, turned down low,

    holds fast and shines. Otherwise the surge
    of the breast could not blind you, nor a smile
    run through the slight twist of the loins
    toward that center where procreation thrived.

    Otherwise this stone would stand deformed and curt
    under the shoulders' invisible plunge
    and not glisten just like wild beasts' fur;

    and not burst forth from all its contours
    like a star: for there is no place
    that does not see you. You must change your life.

    - Translated by Edward Snow