Thursday, November 1, 2012

Archaic Torso of Apollo

Archaic Torso of Apollo by Rainer Maria Rllke is a poem of the viewer taking in a destroyed statue of the god Apollo. The speaker analyzes the statue in its beheaded form and imagines the life of the statue in its original state. He is absolutely absorbed in this statue and finds it pleasing to be lost in its beauty. The structure of the poem is appealing, beginning with the legendary head that is not there and working descriptively down the statue. The speaker brings life into the statue if the statue still had a head. The last line in the third verse, “would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur,” indicates the statue has lost its fierce life. The last verse reads to me that the god Apollo is beyond this earthly world as if he has “burst” from the statue. The last line is definitely a curveball, “you must change your life.” Is this a moment of realization for the speaker to become something more inspired from this statue?

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