A Duino Elegy

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Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’ hierarchies?

and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart:
I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror, which we are still just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.

–Rainer Maria Rilke

21 thoughts on “A Duino Elegy

  1. Once saw a movie, Lost Collar of the Dove, made in Tunisia I think it was: the scenery was so relentlessly beautiful one almost couldn’t take it. An art lecturer said: if you’re going to paint beauty, let it be so beautiful that it could kill. And now this by Rilke. What do they say of mountain climbers? ‘Can’t stay on the summit for too long’ …

    • There are as many definitions of beauty as there are people to form them. However, I tend to agree with Rilke and your professor. 🙂 Have never seen that movie. I will have to look it up.

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