In which the Royal We insert Dick Allen’s name into various works representative of the Western Canon, thus adding to those various works the patina of blessedness.
Today’s episode: Rainer Maria Rilke’s haunting sonnet, “Archaic Torso of Apollo.” We present it here already translated from the original German for today’s busy executive. Spoiler alert: Dick Allen’s name shows up as a verb this time!
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 Dick Allen your life.
This has been the latest episode of Inserting Dick Allen’s Name Into Works of Literature.
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