Study Guide

Archaic Torso of Apollo Tough-o-Meter

By Rainer Maria Rilke

Tough-o-Meter

(6) Tree Line

Don't freak out. This poem is definitely a haul, but you'll be okay. Sure, the poem looks deceptively simple, but, as you've probably found by now, Rilke has some aesthetic tricks up his sleeve. What's more, it's made tougher by the fact that it's a poem in translation, so it's hard for us, as readers of English, to get the same things out of it that a German reader would. But don't worry—that's what we're here for. Imagine that we here at Shmoop are dropping you a pair of crampons and an extra puffy jacket to help you get up that mountain (heck, we'll even throw in some hot chocolate and an oxygen tank to boot).

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