Rilke: Every Angel is Terrifying

Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the angels’
Orders? and even if one of them
pressed me against his heart: I would be consumed
in that overwhelming existence. For beauty is nothing
but the beginning of terror, which we still are just able to endure,
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains
to annihilate us.
Every angel is terrifying.

Rainer Maria Rilke , The Duino Elegies (“The First Elegy”), 1923.

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