This week, the pub is celebrating its own little brand of Oktoberfest with a legendary wordsmith that’s sure to make Claudia feel at home – Rainer Maria Rilke and his poem: “Archaic Torso of Apollo.” A cerebral piece, built of similes and entrancing image, it is one work that guides you crisply along to an altogether potent ending. It showcases Rilke’s true power and status as one of the foremost poets of the late 19th century, and of the German language in its entirety.
Now grab some pretzels, and enjoy the show:
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.
Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:
would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
We are on the back side of this contest, but there is still time to get involved and walk away with a great poetic prize…a little hint at what the winner gets, it involves live performance poetry. Here are this week’s questions.
1. Vivinfrance missed the deadline for Poetics, but posted anyway. Her poem introduces a concept that another OLN poet actually organizes. Who is that other poet? (15 points)
2. What are the two essential elements of haiku as designed by the masters such as Issa Basho and Buson? (10 points)
3. Besides Charles Elliott, name another poet that delivered their poem via video for OLN this week. (15 points)