"Curbed athlete hopeless of the palm"

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bloomcountry

Senior Member
Russian, Spanish
I am totally mixed up with this line, what does it really mean?:

"Curbed athlete hopeless of the palm,
If in the rising moon he hold,
Discobolos, a quoit of gold
Caught in his gusty sweep of arm,"
[Roy Campbell: "The Olive Tree II), This is the start of the poem...
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    We probably need to know what happened in the lines before this to know who "he" is. You should summarize or describe it in your own words to avoid going over the four line limit.

    The palm is the palm of victory, a traditional prize in ancient athletic contests. To be curbed means to be held back. The line means that the athlete has been stopped, held in check, and so has no chance to win the victory. The athlete is a disc thrower (Discobolos) who looks like the famous statue by that name or it may be a reference to the figure portrayed in the statue. We need to know the context to be sure.

    See the statue at: http://www.mlahanas.de/Greeks/Arts/Misc/Discobolos2.jpg
     

    bloomcountry

    Senior Member
    Russian, Spanish
    Thank you Cagey, but the thing is that there are no previous lines. This is the first line of the poem; but your interpretation helps me a lot, I think you are quite right, thank you...
     

    bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    What does the poem describe, do you think? It almost sounds as if this refers to a mythological or astronomical subject and the mention of an athlete/discobolos is a metaphor.
     
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