Torso of an Archaic Apollo

Male torso, C. 480-470 BC.. Broken in antiquity, the piece was repaired in the second century BC and used to decorate a Roman theater at Miletus, where it was discovered. (possible inspiration for Rilke’s Poem)

 
 

ARCHÄISCHER TORSO APOLLOS

“Wir kannten nicht sein unerhörtes Haupt,
darin die Augenäpfel reiften. Aber
sein Torso glüht noch wie ein Kandelaber,
in dem sein Schauen, nur zurückgeschraubt,
sich hält und glänzt. Sonst könnte nicht der Bug
der Brust dich blenden, und im leisen Drehen
der Lenden könnte nicht ein Lächeln gehen
zu jener Mitte, die die Zeugung trug.

Sonst stünde dieser Stein entstellt und kurz
unter der Schultern durchsichtigem Sturz
und flimmerte nicht so wie Raubtierfelle

und bräche nicht aus allen seinen Rändern
aus wie ein Stern: denn da ist keine Stelle,
die dich nicht sieht. Du mußt dein Leben ändern.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Neue Gedichte (New Poems)

1907

 
 

_________________________________

 
 

“Never will we know his fabulous head
where the eyes’ apples slowly ripened. Yet
his torso glows: a candelabrum set
before his gaze which is pushed back and hid,
restrained and shining. Else the curving breast
could not thus blind you, nor through the soft turn
of the loins could this smile easily have passed
into the bright groins where the genitals burned.

Else stood this stone a fragment and defaced,
with lucent body from the shoulders falling,
too short, not gleaming like a lion’s fell;

nor would this star have shaken the shackles off,
bursting with light, until there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.”

Translated by C. F. MacIntyre

 
 

New Poems is a two-part collection of poems written by Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). The first volume, dedicated to Elisabeth and Karl von der Heydt was composed from 1902 to 1907 and was published in the same year by Insel Verlag in Leipzig. The second volume (New Poems: The Other Part), dedicated to Auguste Rodin, was completed in 1908 and published by the same publisher.

 
 

To see more information related to this subject, please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style‘s Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228

Advertisements

The Finesse of The Individual Mark

“One could say that any child could make a drawing like Twombly only in the sense that any fool with a hammer could fragment sculptures as Rodin did, or any house painter could spatter paint as well as Pollock. In none of these cases would it be true. In each case the art lies not so much in the finesse of the individual mark, but in the orchestration of a previously uncodified set of personal “rules” about where to act and where not, how far to go and when to stop, in such a way as the cumulative courtship of seeming chaos defines an original, hybrid kind of order, which in turn illuminates a complex sense of human experience not voiced or left marginal in previous art.”

Kirk Varnedoe

 

Cyrus Alessandro Twombly and his pet posing in front of a large-scale painting by Cy Twombly. Photo: Horst P. Horst, 1966