who wasn’t interested in life and death
talk over our coffee. “Beauty’s the start of terror,”
he said. “that we can hardly bear.”
“One of your poets actually said that.
You adore serene scorn. Every angel’s terrifying.”
The conversation is, in part, from Rilke’s cycle of poems that he called Duino Elegies. They talk about the differences between angels and people, and that human beings are put on earth in order to experience the beauty of ordinary things.