Two Poems by Rainer Maria Rilke
|February 25, 2013|
Archaic Torso of Apollo
We cannot fathom his mysterious head,
Through the veiled eyes no flickering ray is sent:
But from his torso gleaming light is shed
As from a candelabrum; inward bent
His glance there glows and lingers. Otherwise
The round breast would not blind you with its grace,
Nor could the soft-curved circle of the thighs
Steal to the arc whence issues a new race.
Nor could this stark and stunted stone display
Vibrance beneath the shoulders heavy bar,
Nor shine like fur upon a beast of prey,
Nor break forth from its lines like a great star—
There is no spot that does not bind you fast
And transport you back, back to a far past.
You Hour! From me you ever take your flight,
Your swift wings wound me as they whir along;
Without you void would be my day and night,
Without you I’ll not capture my great song.
I have no earthly spot where I can live,
I have no love, I have no household fane,
And all the things to which myself I give
Impoverish me with richness they attain.
Poems first published in New Poems, by Rainer Maria Rilke, 1907. Translated by Jesse Lamont.
Selected for Berfrois by Daniel Bosch.
About the Author:
Rainer Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926) was a Bohemian-Austrian poet.
Inherent Vice’s Two Directions
The jokes certainly strike one as sophomoric and the latter one as clichéd, further below Pynchon’s intelligence than one would like to think he would stoop, at least in print. Discounting them and moving on, or throwing the book across the room as Parker half implies we should do, however, would be to lose sight of “that high magic to low puns”.
Auden, Larkin and Love
I was prompted to revisit these ancient questions anew by a long footnote about a single line in the new Complete Poems edition of Philip Larkin’s poetry. The footnote refers to “An Arundel Tomb” contains a provocative remark about that the poem’s celebrated, controversial, closing line, the one about the true nature of immortality: “What will survive of us is love.”
Plato, Our Comrade?
Not surprisingly, there have already been critics of Badiou’s translation. The first is that his translation breaks the formal rules of translation to such a degree that the original meaning of the text has lost its significance. But this critique is inadequate at face value because Badiou’s hyper-translation is forthright in its intention of taking Plato’s concepts and modifying them into his own lexicon.
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