Photo from the official site of the musée du Louvre.
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,
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.
the rest is here. (Then come back and tell me what you think of that last line. I have it taped to my laptop, and every day I look at it and it speaks the truth to me.)
----Rainer Maria Rilke, Translated by Stephen Mitchell
The original poem in German, as well as a different translation, is here.
Poetry Friday is hosted by Stacy at Some Novel Ideas. I'll try to check in as I can around my school visits and book panels for The Virginia Festival of the Book.